7:13pm Friday 13th September 2013
By Hannah Bryan
AN asylum seeker who stole £16,000 worth of cigarettes from a shop while high on drink and drugs did so because he had no income, a court heard.
Bahman Karimi, together with three other men, broke into the Lifestyle Express shop in Gladstone Street, Darlington, and took £16,000 worth of cigarettes, £1,200 worth of alcohol and £2,800 in cash, Teesside Crown Court heard today (Friday, September 13).
David Crook, prosecuting, said the 24-year-old, of Russell Street, Rotherham, was seen acting suspiciously in an alleyway behind the shop in the early hours of May 25 this year.
His barrister, Uzma Khan, said Karimi had not been granted the right to remain in the UK, but is unable to return to his home in Iran, and as a result, has no access to any income or support.
“He relies on the support of friends and family,” she said. “Mr Karimi is a bit of a drifter. He had been drinking with friends who provided him with alcohol and drugs and accepts he was very much under the influence and not fully aware of his actions.”
Karimi, who was helped in court by an interpreter, pleaded guilty to burglary at an earlier hearing and was remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing.
As he has already served the equivalent of a ten-month prison sentence while remanded in custody, Judge George Moorhouse sentenced Karimi to a community order with 100 hours of unpaid work.
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