A hard-up thief was served with a hefty court bill – after cooking up a ‘foolish’ plan to make fast cash by snatching a kebab machine being stored at his own home.
Jason Liddle decided to take away the £100 machine from a storage room at his shared accommodation in Jarrow – before selling it onto a fast food restaurant in the town.
But justice was soon meted out when investigations by police revealed he was the man responsible for the theft.
The 26-year-old admitted theft by finding at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
He was slapped with a £120 fine by magistrates and must also pay out £85 in court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
The court heard that Liddle had stole the Archway kebab machine from an unlocked room in which tenants stored property at the multi-occupancy property in High Street Jarrow between February 7 and February 10.
He then sold it onto a takeaway in Jarrow, where it was recovered by police.
Magistrates were told Liddle, now of Grange Road, Hebburn, had decided to carry out the theft after his benefits were stopped after a visit to an ill friend in Aberdeen.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said; “Liddle was cautioned and arrested and during interview he said he took the kebab machine from an unlocked storage room in the building.
“He said he then sold it on for £100.”
Paul Harbison, defending, said the crime was the ‘desperate’ act of a man short of money.
He said: “He had returned from visiting an ill friend in Aberdeen to find his benefits had been sanctioned.
“He doesn’t seek to excuse what he did, he accepts he saw an opportunity to steal the piece of equipment.
“He was desperate for money when he stole the item and then sold it on.
“He accepts he was foolish in the way he acted.”
Gary Cracknell, chair of the magistrates, said; “This was not very sophisticated and was a stupid thing to do.
“This was not your property to take.”