Shoplifter stole to pay of debt

SAMUEL Stark went out shoplifting because he needed to repay a debt to a member of the travelling community who had threatened him with violence, a judge heard.

Stark went to the Tesco store in Wisbech and stole food items worth �16.97, hiding them in a bag on his trolley.

“He told police he had money problems, he owed someone �200 and intended to sell the meat to get some money,” said Nicola Rice.

Stark, 27, of Newgate Road, Tydd St Giles, admitted theft and was given a six week jail sentence, suspended while he carries out 100 hours of unpaid work. He must pay �85 costs.

Solicitor Hugh Cauthery explained: “This long standing debt arose out of arrears of rent; he borrowed money from a member of the travelling fraternity. He said Stark had asked for time to pay, but the lender had threatened him.