‘Desperate’ Kirkby shoplifter sold on stolen meat to buy drugs and pay gas bill

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A ‘desperate’ Kirkby shoplifter whose benefits were suspended for six weeks sold on stolen meat to pay for drugs and utility bills, a court has heard.

Anthony Murdoch admitted filling his rucksack with £100 of meat and walking out of Lidl in Mansfield Woodhouse without paying, on April 11, said prosecutor Lucy Woodcock.

He made full and frank admissions but has 80 previous convictions for 87 offences, 51 of which are for dishonesty, she said.

"The record isn't favourable to the defendant," she added.

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Mansfield Magistrates court, Rosemary Street.Mansfield Magistrates court, Rosemary Street.
Mansfield Magistrates court, Rosemary Street.

Deborah Bell, mitigating, said Murdoch was last in trouble in 2022 when he received a suspended sentence for driving without insurance and failing to stop.

She said he was homeless but now lives with his dad. At the time his claim for benefits had been suspended because someone had made a claim as his carer.

“There was an investigation and his claim was reinstated but he went for six weeks with no money,” she said.

“He says, ‘I was just desperate’. He took the meat and sold it to pay for gas and electricity - also crack cocaine which is something of a lingering issue but he is not dependent on it.”

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He has stopped taking heroin, she said. He has mental health issues and is visually impaired.

“This is an absolute one-off that will not be repeated,” Ms Bell said. “The majority of his dishonesty was of a far more serious nature like dwelling burglaries. I do think that is significant. He has committed no shop thefts since 1997.”

Murdoch, 40, of Kingsway, was fined £80, and must pay £100 compensation, a £32 surcharge and £85 costs.