Header Ads

"I stole because I was hungry" Shoplifter freed after claiming she was 'forced' to steal because Universal Credit delayed

A shoplifter claims she was forced to steal food from Tesco after delays in Universal Credit left her 'hungry'.
The supermarket even tried to get a restraining order on the regular thief but was denied it in court.
Jasmine Ripley, 29, pleaded guilty to stealing sandwiches, biscuits and cakes from the store after she was caught just days after leaving prison.
Margate Magistrates Court turned down Tesco's request for a retraining order to prevent her from entering three stores in Herne Bay and Whitstable.
Toyin Kuti, prosecuting, said Ripley was seen entering a branch of Tesco and putting various items from the shelves into a green Co-Op bag.
Mr Brady, defending, said Ripley was "forced" to steal after falling on hard times due to delays in her benefit payment.
He said: "It is no secret, this lady has a drug addiction problem. She has stolen to feed her habit.
"But on this occasion, she told me: 'I stole because I was hungry.'
Reading out a victim impact statement written by the store manager, Miss Kuti said: "We will be supporting the prosecution as we do not tolerate shoplifting.
"She has shoplifted our store on numerous occasions, which has resulted in a significant loss for us.
"A lot of time is wasted, where we have to review the CCTV, call the police and make statements.
"It wastes a lot of staff time when we could be serving customers."
Mr Brady explained that she was on one benefit, but changed over to Universal Credit. She was on Job Seeker's Allowance, but that was stopped when the Universal Credit started on August 17.
He said: "At the time of the offence, she had no money whatsover. She stole sandwiches, cakes and biscuits that she could readily eat."
"Although this is not acceptable, it's understandable. This is something that is being repeated across the country by people who are completely innocent and forced into situations through no fault of their own."
Ripley announced from the dock: "My last payment was on August 3, but I do not get paid until September 26."
Passing sentence, chair of the bench Theresa Davies said: "We have looked at your record of offending, it is not impressive.
"We are giving you a community order and 15 rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) days. This is to help you.
"As we do not know the exact amount of what you stole, we are not going to order you to pay compensation to the store.
"We are also not going to impose court costs, you are very lucky."
Ripley was ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge.
Her community order will last for six months.

No comments