Witchford man who stole Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal tin from Ely is jailed by Cambridge magistrates

Michael King

Michael King - Credit: Archant

A Witchford man who stole a charity collection tin has been jailed.

Michael King, 37, of Orton Drive, was charged with three counts of theft and three motoring offences, as well as breaching a suspended sentence order, when he appeared at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

King pleaded guilty to stealing a Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal tin on November 12 from St John’s Road, in Ely; stealing two crystal tumblers from John Lewis, in Cambridge, on November 18; and stealing more than £100 worth of meat from a shop in Littleport, on November 28.

He also pleaded guilty to driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, driving without insurance, and failing to stop for police in connection with an incident on December 18 in Stretham.

King asked for a further 22 offences to be taken into consideration by the court.

Jackie Baldwin, in mitigation, said: “The theft offences, if you look at them, are relatively low value but we accept that the property was not recovered.”

Ms Baldwin also pointed out that King had struggled with drug addiction.

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Sentencing, magistrates disqualified King from driving for 12 months and his licence was endorsed.

He was given a 16-week custodial sentence for stealing the charity tin and eight-week sentences for the other two thefts, all to run concurrently.

The offences put King in breach of a previous 12-week suspended sentence order, which was activated by magistrates.

In total, the 37-year-old was sentenced to 28 weeks in prison. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115.

Four years ago King was before Cambridge magistrates after breaching the terms of an anti-social behaviour order banning him from a number of shops in Ely.

King, then of Haddenham, had been made the subject of a two-year anti-social behaviour order back in January in a bid to stop his offending.

Magistrates in Cambridge heard that King had a string of convictions dating back to 2000.

From 2011 to 2013 he stole from 10 different shops in Ely, targeting some businesses repeatedly. In 2012 alone he racked up 16 convictions.

The order imposed on King prohibited him from entering five shops where he had committed multiple thefts:

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a total of 10 weeks in prison.

Ely Sgt Will Davis said at the time: “King is a frequent offender and well known to local officers.

“All help and support has and is being offered to prevent his offending, by police and other agencies, but, as yet, to no avail.”