A teenager who was grieving for his deceased friend stole beer on the day of his funeral.
Billy Joe Frazier, 19, of Brittain Drive, Grantham, admitted stealing a case of Budweiser, worth £10, from Tesco Express in Harrowby Lane on April 13, and stealing food and drink, valued at about £20, from the same store on April 6.
Prosecuting, Daniel Pietryka told the court that in the earlier incident Frazier put sandwiches and alcohol in a basket but left without paying for them. He was followed out by the manager who was not able to stop him. Frazier was not arrested until three weeks later.
Frazier said he could not remember the incident, but made a full admission when he was shown CCTV footage.
In the later incident, Frazier was seen by staff stealing the Budweiser from a display. He told police he had been to a friend’s funeral that day and was drunk. He had left the store without paying and had drunk all the alcohol he stole.
Defending, Chris Pye-Smith said Frazier had last been sentenced for a shoplifting offence in 2014, but no similar offences had been committed until these offences in April.
Mr Pye-Smith said Frazier’s friend had been killed in a motorcycle accident earlier in the year. There had been a considerable delay in the funeral taking place and he had been due to help carry the coffin. The funeral was delayed about eight weeks.
Mr Pye-Smith added: “He was very upset and on occasion he was driven to drink. He committed both offences when he had had too much to drink.”
Mr Pye-Smith said Frazier stole the beer after the funeral and went off to drink it on his own. He described the thefts as ‘spontaneous’ and ‘unsophisticated’.
The court heard that Frazier had had a suspended jail sentence hanging over him from a previous court case. This had been activated but he was not given custody because he had already been under an electronic curfew.
Mr Pye-Smith said Frazier lived with his mother who would have to pay his fines because he had no income.
Presiding magistrate Kevin Moody told Frazier: “You have an unenviable record. You are nearly 20. I understand what has been said about your friend, but you have to start putting your life together. You need to get out there and get a job.”
Frazier was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £85 costs and compensation of £30 to Tesco.