Homeless man stole charity box from Horncastle Co-op

Court news
Court news

A 63-year-old ‘homeless’ man who stole a charity box from the Lincolnshire Co-op in Horncastle, has been ordered to pay £100 compensation to the Royal British Legion.

Christopher Batley, now living in Alexandra Road, Skegness, admitted the theft when he appeared at Boston Magistrates Court.

Prosecuting, Marie Stace said Batley went into the Co-op at 6.09pm on November 8 with his dog and asked staff for water for the dog.

He was seen on CCTV putting the box into his jacket while staff were getting the water.

He was then tracked through town centre CCTV cameras to his car, in which he was sleeping, and was arrested later, said Ms Stace.

Batley told police he had no money and needed to buy food for himself and his dog.

The court was told he had already appeared in court for a similar offence committed just two days before when he also stole a charity box and Philippa Chatterton, mitigating, said Batley should really have been dealt with then for this offence.

She said Batley had been driving around, sleeping in his car, and had been left with no money and no prescription for his anxiety and, out of desperation, he took the charity box.

She said he was more than willing to pay compensation and he had now secured himself a place in a hostel and was getting support.

Magistrates imposed a stand alone compensation order for Batley to pay £100 to the Royal British Legion.