Grantham court: Meat stolen to pay for rent

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Magistrates were told that a Grantham man stole meat totalling £130 because he needed to pay his rent.

Paul Kavanagh, 33, of Harlaxton Road, pleaded guilty to shoplifting from the Co-operative at Princess Drive on November 30, and then again on December 3.

Prosecutor Tracey Ross told how on the first occasion Kavanagh went into the store and put gammon joints valued at £60 under his jacket before walking out. Three days later he returned and took £70 worth of pork joints.

Kavanagh fully admitted the thefts during interview and said that he committed them because he needed money to pay his rent. This was explained further by Rob Arthur, defending, who told how Kavanagh lives in a shared house and owed money to his landlady after his benefits were suspended.

Mr Arthur said that the issue had arisen after medical reasons led to a change from jobseeker’s allowance to employment support, but this transfer took a while.

The court also heard how Kavanagh had previously been homeless, and concerned at being so again he ‘took a short-sighted view’ and committed the thefts to keep his accommodation.

Kavanagh received a conditional discharge of 12 months, and ordered to pay £130 in compensation, £85 in prosecution costs, and a £15 victim surcharge.