Church worker’s beef theft shame

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court
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A CHURCH voluntary worker resorted to shoplifting after his benefits were stopped.

Stephen Smith carried out voluntary work with elderly people through the church, but stole meat from a shop after his failure to attend a Job Centre appointment meant his benefits were stopped for nine weeks.

At Blackpool Magistrates’ Court yesterday the 46-year-old, from Walter Robinson Court, Layton, pleaded guilty to theft and breaching a conditional discharge for shoplifting.

Martina Jay, prosecuting, told the court he had been spotted by a CCTV operator from Marks & Spencer, on Church Street, Blackpool, 
after paying for two cartons of milk but stealing a £13 joint of beef.

Trevor Colebourne, defending, said Smith had his benefits stopped after missing an appointment at the Job Centre.

He said Smith had gone to the shop for milk but had seen the beef, been “tempted” and took it.

He was sentenced to a six-week tagged curfew, which will run from 8pm to 6am.

He was also ordered to pay £50 costs and a £60 victims surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

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