A MEAT thief said he stole 15 sirloin steaks in order to sell them to pay a vet to end the suffering of his ill cat, Gizmo.
Anthony Smith, of Warmington Avenue, Grantham, stole meat and make-up from a supermarket in Melton Mowbray.
The court heard how Smith entered the store with a bag lined with tin foil in an attempt to fool the security equipment.
Rory Macmillan, defending, told the court Smith believed his cat had been poisoned, so took it to a vet in Sleaford, where the bill came to £500.
Mr Macmillan said: “The vet was not prepared to put the cat down until he had paid the £500.
“Mr Smith knew the cat was suffering. In short, he went shoplifting to pay the vet.”
Smith was told by “unsavoury characters” what items to steal from the shop to receive the most money.
He was caught in the act – which left the problem with his cat unresolved.
Mr Macmilan said: “In order to settle the bill with the vet, he had to sell personal items of high sentimental value left to him by his grandparents.”
Smith admitted shoplifting, going equipped for theft, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.
He was fined a total of £245 and ordered to pay a £15 surcharge.