Torbay supermarket wine thief is locked up

Michael Lowther has been jailed for multiple thefts
-Credit: (Image: Devon & Cornwall Police)

A prolific shoplifter has been locked up for a stealing spree in Torquay and Paignton - just days after the court gave him a chance to change his ways. Michael Lowther, a 37-year-old from Brixham, was given a suspended sentence in May after being convicted of 38 thefts, mostly bottles of wine, sometimes cheese, from the Co-op in Paignton.

But just six days later he was back stealing. As well as the Paignton store he helped himself to bottles of wine from the Co-op in Torquay, Sainsbury's and the Tesco Express in Paignton. He took packets of butter, bottles of Lenor fabric conditioner and a t-shirt from Poundland.

The defendant, of Westfield Close, admitted seven charges of theft. He has 111 previous crimes to his name and was jailed for 16 months at Exeter Crown Court.

A statement by the manager of Co-op said the shoplifting costs the store enormous amounts of money. "Theft is having a massive impact on business and the local community," he said. "It is also having an adverse effect on the residents of Paignton."

Paul Dentith, defending, said: "He has an issue with alcohol." Lowther also has a thrombosis in his leg that needs attention every two days.

Judge James Adkins told the defendant he will serve half of his sentence inside. "I hope you use the opportunity to reach out to probation to assist with accommodation and addiction when you are released."

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