Cleveleys charity poppy box thief is spared prison

Charity poppy box thief is spared prison
Charity poppy box thief is spared prison

A man committed what even his own solicitor described as “abhorrent” crime when he broke into a branch of WHSmith’s and took a Poppy Appeal collection box and its contents.

Anthony Monaghan smashed a glass panel of a door at the store’s Cleveleys branch and climbed through into the retail area.

As well as stealing the charity box and an unknown amount of money inside he also took 100 bottles of e-cigarette favours and three e-cigarettes.

Monaghan, 51, of Norbreck Road, Norbreck, admitted the night time burglary and two charges of shoplifting.

He stole £300 of razors from Sainsbury’s and £100 of Thomas the Tank Engine toys from Wilko’s.

Blackpoool Magistrates heard how Monaghan had committed the offences to fund a heroin habit which he was now taking steps to beat.

Brett Chappell, defending, said: “There is no other word to describe the theft of the Poppy Appeal other than abhorrent and my client knows it.

“He is taking steps to cure himself of his addiction and mental health problems and I do not believe that a spell in prison will help these matters.”

Magistrates gave Monaghan a 12 week jail term suspended for a year. He must pay £520 compensation.