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‘Prolific shoplifter’ avoids jail after committing 14 offences

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A “prolific shoplifter” who was in court for 14 offences varying from assaults to making racially aggravated threats has avoided going to prison.Nicholas Symonds, 39, of Suffield Way in Lynn, appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to all 14 offences put to him.These offences included two counts of using racially aggravated words to cause distress, four counts of assaulting emergency workers, three of theft, two of causing criminal damage, one assault, one possession of Class A drugs and one count of being drunk and disorderly in a public place.

Symonds appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday

Prosecutor Nicola Lamb said Symonds is “prolific shoplifter” and “doesn’t go quietly” when being arrested.When being arrested for being drunk and disorderly on Lynn’s Norfolk Street on July 30 2023, he grabbed the helmet of the police officer and told him to “f**k off” when asked to leave the area.Six days previous, he stole groceries from Tesco in Lynn worth £20.50.When put into a police van, he repeatedly kicked it and said: “I’m going to smash this f**king van right now.”Norfolk police estimated Symonds caused £6,756 worth of damage to the van.On another occasion when he was put in the van, he repeatedly spat in it.On December 6, it was reported that he spat on three different police officers in Lynn.On November 17, Symonds was refused entry onto a bus in Lynn because he was told he couldn’t have an open can of lager on the vehicle.He got on the bus anyway and started arguing and swung his bag at the driver. Police were called and attended the scene and Symonds spat at another officer.He also said to the officer: “F**k off you foreign c**t, go back to Lithuania.”On December 14, Symonds then stole meat worth £60 from M&S in Lynn.Symonds went into a store on London Road in Lynn on December 14 and said to a shop worker: “F**k off you f**king Indian, go back to India.”On January 31, he stole an airfryer from the Food Warehouse in Lynn worth £99.On February 4, he was caught in Lynn with 0.66g of cocaine, a Class A drug.In mitigation, Ruth Johnson urged magistrates not to send Symonds to prison and said that he would comply and work with the probation service if given a community order.“Mr Symonds has willingness to comply. He wanted the court to know he is engaging with the Purfleet Trust,” said Ms Johnson.The solicitor added: “He lost his best friend just over Christmas and went off the rails.“He pleaded guilty because it’s the right and correct thing to do.“A community order is the best way forward for Mr Symonds.”Magistrates decided to take Ms Johnson’s advice and handed him a 24-month community order.As part of that, he will complete 30 rehabilitation activity days and 12-month drug and alcohol rehabilitation requirement.He was ordered to pay £50 in compensation per police officer he assaulted and £50 to the bus driver.Symonds was also ordered to pay £60 in compensation to M&S, and £1,000 to Norfolk police towards the police van.He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £140 and court costs of £50.



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