The court was told that a 33-year-old who had not offended for two years resorted to shoplifting during the changeover period of his benefits.
Benjamin Noddings, of Skells Court, Stamford, pleaded guilty to stealing two joints of meat valued at £24 from the Co-op on Princess Drive in Grantham.
Prosecutor Shelley Wilson said that on April 19 Noddings walked into the shop, took the joints of meat from the freezer area and put them under his clothing without making any attempt to pay.
Noddings was later arrested and made no comments during interview, with Mrs Wilson adding that the offence also put him in breach of an 18 month conditional discharge.
Stuart Wild, defending, said that while his client had been before the courts between 2008 and 2012, and that this was linked to illegal substance use, he had since put this behind him.
However Mr Wild told the court that it was when Noddings went to the benefits office and was told that it would take two weeks to transfer him from employment and support allowance to jobseeker’s allowance, that he resorted to stealing the food.
Noddings was ordered to pay a fine of £65, a contribution of £40 to the prosecution costs, a victim surcharge of £20 and compensation of £24 to the Co-op. Magistrates also ruled that Noddings’ conditional discharge could continue given the reasons behind the offence.