Desperate fisherman stole to buy food

A fisherman who was left penniless after promises of work were not forthcoming stole items out of desperation, magistrates heard.

Scott Bennett had travelled from his home in Prestonpans, East Lothian, to find work in Boston, after he and his skipper began struggling in Scotland, the court was told.

But the ship had experienced a host of mechanical problems and had been unable to go out since it had arrived, meaning Bennett, 23, had not been paid for two months, said Phillipa Chatterton, defending. He was forced to go out and steal to either get food or items to sell for food, she said.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of theft on October 14, 15 and 23 when he appeared in court on Wednesday.

During the offences he stole shampoo and a light from QD, meat from the Co-op and groceries from Aldi, Rebecca Ritston, prosecuting, told the court.

Describing the offences as ‘extremely unsophisticated’, Ms Chatterton said: “This is a sign of how desperate this young man had become.”

He planned to move back to Scotland as soon as the case was over, the court was told.

Magistrates gave him a 12-month conditional 
discharge.