A hungry thief was caught on camera carrying out a meat raid from a South Tyneside store after barely eating for five days.
Cash-strapped Darrel Elliott stole meat and a bottle of cider from the shelves of Aldi, in Chichester Road, South Shields, before making a sharp exit without paying.
He hadn’t eaten properly for five daysKate Lewis
Staff alerted to the incident spotted the theft on in-store CCTV footage and discovered the 42-year-old was still outside the store.
He handed back the goods to workers and later voluntarily attended South Shields Police Station to admit the offence.
Elliott, of Westoe Road, South Shields, admitted shop theft when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “At 5pm on Wednesday, March 16, the assistant manager at Aldi received information about a theft.
“He viewed CCTV and saw Elliott walking past the check outs carrying meat and cider and leaving without paying.
“He was approached by staff and outside and the goods were recovered.”
The court heard that Elliott was subject to two conditional discharges for previous thefts at the time of the offence and was jailed last August for another shop taid.
Kate Lewis, prosecuting, said: “He has entered an immediate guilty plea and should be given maximum credit for that.
“He made full admissions at the police station when interviewed.
“It is a straight forward shop theft.
“These were low value goods.
“His benefits had been stopped, he had no money and hadn’t eaten properly for five days.
“He didn’t have any means to pay.
“He was in drink at the time and had also taken valium.”
The court heard that Elliott already owes £1,500 in previous fines to the court.
He was handed a 12-month community order and given a four-week curfew, to run between 7pm and 7am each day.
He must also pay prosecution costs of £85 and a 360 victim surcharge.