Food bank user tells court he stole because he was ‘starving’

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A FOOD bank user told a court that he was “starving” when he stole from a supermarket.

John Michael Small was in the Asda store, in Marina Way, Hartlepool, doing some shopping.

Prosecuting, Alan Davison told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court that the 41-year-old bought some goods but then failed to pay for two boxes of cuppa-soup worth £2.38.

The crime was noticed and he was stopped and arrested for it.

Small, of Church Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to the theft from August 29.

Mitigating, Martin Walker said: “This was a low value theft and it happened because his benefits had stopped.

“He had been using food banks and soup kitchen but he was literally starving.”

Small was fined £15 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge.