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18 August 2011, 13:30
An alcoholic caught helping himself to doughnuts from a Krispy Kreme shop in Manchester during the riots has been jailed for 16 months.
Thomas Downey, 48, of no fixed address, had only been released from Strangeways prison when he found himself in the midst of the rioting.
After attending a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, the serial offender downed a bottle of sherry and stumbled into the Krispy Kreme, in Piccadilly Gardens, which was unsecured after being attacked earlier.
He was almost 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.
Judge Robert Atherton 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.'
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, adding:
'He can't recall the events because he was drunk but he has expressed remorse.'