Grantham court: Cheese proves very costly for shoplifter fined nearly £100

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A 34-year-old pleaded guilty to stealing cheese worth £2.50, and ending up paying £97.50 in fines, costs and compensation.

Andrew Mason of New Beacon Road, Grantham, entered a guilty plea to one charge of shoplifting on July 22 from Tescos Express on Harrowby Lane.

Shelley Wilson, prosecuting, told the court that Mason was seen acting suspiciously by a member of staff, who then followed him when he walked out of the store.

On confronting Mason a packet of Cathedral City cheese fell out of his hoody pocket, and he said to the staff member ‘you better turn around a walk back to the shop’.

The Tescos employee did so and then called the police, who interviewed Mason later that day, during which he said that he was ‘starving’ and ‘had no money to pay’.

Representing himself, Mason said: “I was hungry.

“A lot of things have happened in the last few months.”

Mason also admitted that the offence breached a conditional discharge he had received on July 15.

Magistrates allowed the conditional discharge to continue, but fined Mason £75 and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £20 and £2.50 in compensation to Tesco.