Alcoholic jailed for cakes theft
Published 18/08/2011 | 12:00
An alcoholic who was caught helping himself to doughnuts from a Krispy Kreme shop in Manchester during last week's widespread looting has been jailed for 16 months.
Hapless Thomas Downey, 48, had only been released from Strangeways prison at 7.30pm that Tuesday when he found himself in the midst of the rioting.
After attending a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, the serial offender proceeded to down a bottle of sherry and stumbled into the Krispy Kreme, in Piccadilly Gardens, which was unsecured after being attacked earlier.
He was immediately caught red-handed with a box of doughnuts, worth £17, when 20 riot police arrived and he was returned to custody.
Downey admitted burglary and breach of an Asbo by entering part of Manchester City Centre from which he is prohibited.
The judge told him: "You are an alcoholic. That is established by your record which shows a chronic condition. You drink too much, too regularly and when in drink become threatening and abusive. Indeed on the evening before your arrest you had been released from prison and seem to have got no further than Piccadilly."
The total cost of damage to the Krispy Kreme outlet that night was around £17,000, prosecutors said.
Downey's offending history - printed over 33 pages - included more than 100 convictions for 233 offences.
In mitigation, Zoe Nield told the court Downey left prison with just £4 in his pocket.
Although he wasn't involved in the rioting, he saw the Krispy Kreme store unsecured and helped himself because he was hungry, having spent all his money on tobacco. "He can't recall the events because he was drunk but he has expressed remorse," she added.