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Homeless man admits stealing donation box

Magistrate Archibald Warner has questioned a homeless man why he resorted to theft instead of seeking assistance from one of the island's many helping agencies.

Steven Pitt, 62, pleaded guilty in Magistrates' Court this morning to stealing a donation box containing an unknown amount of cash from Court Street Liquors in Pembroke last Wednesday.

The court heard that police were called after the donation box, which had been placed on the store's counter since April to raise funds for a children's trip next month, went missing.

After reviewing the CCTV footage, officers determined that Pitt had stolen the box and arrested the defendant yesterday, at which point he gave a full confession.

Prosecutor Alan Richards said the exact amount of cash in the box could not be determined, with the complainant stating it was approximately $200, while Pitt said it was $40.

However, Mr Richards said the seriousness of the offence did not lie in the amount taken but rather in the circumstances of the theft.

Mr Warner asked Pitt if he knew of all the helping agencies and feeding stations, to which the defendant replied “yes”.

But when asked why he did not “go to these places instead of continuing to steal”, Pitt did not respond and Mr Warner sentenced him to ten days' imprisonment.

It comes after The Eliza DoLittle Society called on those struggling to make ends meet to seek help rather than steal.

Executive director Carole Paynter told The Royal Gazette: “I'd like people to know that those who are in need of food and can't afford to buy it, we are here to help them. We try to make sure that no one is without food.”

It is The Royal Gazette's policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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Published June 14, 2016 at 1:15 pm (Updated June 14, 2016 at 1:15 pm)

Homeless man admits stealing donation box

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