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Lack of money drove teen to steal over £100 worth of meat
A TEENAGER whose immigrant status means he cannot claim benefits was caught stealing food from supermarkets, a court heard.
Hamilton Flex Chiwaya, 18, admitted stealing more than £100 worth of meat from the Morrison’s in Darlington and the Sainsbury’s on Duke Street over three days in July and August.
He also pleaded guilty at Darlington Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday, October 24) to stealing two mobile phones from a soldier who invited him back to his Catterick Garrison home for a drink in September.
Chiwaya admitted the offences put him in breach of a conditional discharge imposed in May for theft.
Mitigating, Rory Todd described Chiwaya as a vulnerable adult who had a “fractious” relationship with his father with whom he lived at Catterick Garrison.
Mr Todd said Chiwaya’s immigrant status meant that he could not claim benefits and his father did not give him an allowance.
He explained that the shop thefts began in the same month that the Children’s Service withdrew the £25 per week it had previously been giving Chiwaya.
Magistrates sentenced him to 12-weeks in prison, suspended for 12-months, plus a 12-month community order with supervision and a requirement to attend a programme addressing binge drinking.
He was also told to pay £38.40 compensation for the meat stolen from Sainsbury’s; the Morrison’s goods were recovered.