Man stole chocolate on release from jail term

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court

A man who had no benefits after leaving prison stole chocolate to sell to get some money.

Stephen Perry, 51, of Reads Avenue, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to two offences of theft.

He was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £15 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Malcolm Isherwood, prosecuting, said Perry stole £89 of chocolate from the resort’s 99p store on January 23, and five days later took £4.98 of chocolate from B&M Bargains, Blackpool.

Stephen Duffy, defending, said his client, who had a record of 35 previous offences, had gone to prison for the first time last year. He had found it hard.

Perry had mental health issues and severe problems with his legs on which he had had many operations and was expected to undergo more.

When he left prison he had no benefits and was then told the Employment Support Allowance he had previously received was not available to him. Perry was told he would have to sign on for JobSeekers Allowance. During the time he had no benefits, Perry stole chocolate to sell.