Man stole for family during hard times

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court

A man turned to crime after giving up work on a building site to help care for his wife when she was diagnosed with cancer.

John Birkenhead stole almost £200 of meat from the Blackpool branch of Marks & Spencer.

Birkenhead, 47, of Sefton Road, Sale, pleaded guilty to two offences of theft.

He was given a 12- month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £80 compensation with £85 costs plus £15 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said Birkenhead went into Marks &Spencer and stole £80 of meat on January 20. He was caught stealing £115 of meat the next day.

Birkenhead’s defence said his wife was then diagnosed with cancer and the family’s finances had become stretched.