Homeless teen stole to buy food
9:00am Friday 21st September 2012 in News
A HOMELESS Ammanford teenager was forced to resort to shoplifting to buy food, a court heard.
Louis Richards, aged 18, appeared before Llanelli magistrates to admit stealing a bottle of vodka on September 12.
Prosecutor Sian Vaughan told the court that staff at the Asda store in Llanelli had spotted Richards, originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, placing the bottle of Russian Standard vodka beneath a plastic bag in his trolley. Richards was then seen walking to another aisle where he placed the bottle inside the bag.
He then left the store without attempting to payfor the alcohol,which was priced at £17.
Whenhewas confronted by staff outside the store, Richards admitted stealing the drink and claimedheplanned to sell it to raise money for food.
Miss Vaughan told magistrates that Richards had been granted two six-month conditional discharges on August 13 for shoplifting offences. Richard Morgan, defending, told the court that Richards had been fully co-operative with the police following his arrest.
“This has been a very difficult time for him,” said Mr Morgan.
He said Richards had moved to Ammanford with his parents five years earlier, but recent difficulties in the family home had seen himmove out.
“He has had nowhere to live and has been staying with friends,” said Mr Morgan. “He has not been able to get state benefits and he stole the item to sell to raise money to keep himself going, out of desperation.
“But he is learning the hard way of the difficulties he will face if he commits crime, even if it is only the theft of small items.”
Richards apologised to the court for his actions.
Magistrates fined Richards £75 for the theft and ordered he pay £25 towards court costs and a further £15 legal surcharge.