Man was ‘too proud’ to ask family for help

Court crest
Court crest

A homeless man, who was ‘too proud’ to ask family and friends for help, has been given a conditional discharge after stealing food.

Tomas Baltueis, 36, c/o Willoughby Road, Boston, appeared before the town’s magistrates’ court, on Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to stealing the food valued at £16.75 from Heron.

Prosecutor Marie Stace said Baltueis entered the store on August 8, selected items and put them in a blue bag before leaving the store without paying.

Staff informed security guards at Pescod Square and he was detained. He admitted the offence in interview.

Defending Baltueis, Phillipa Chatterton said he had been living in the UK for six years and had worked for much of those in factories and on the fields through agencies. She said he had paid for gaps in employment from his savings.

She said: “On this occasion, he’s been out of work for some time, he had hoped the agency would be able to get him employment.

“He used whatever savings he had until he got to the stage where he couldn’t pay rent and he lost his accommodation – which is when he appeared [before the court] for squatting. He has family members locally, but he was too proud to ask for help. He became so desperate on this occasion he stole the food. At this point he hadn’t eaten for some time.”

She added Baltueis was ‘deeply ashamed’ at being arrested and charged but had since been ‘sofa-surfing’ with family and friends.

Magistrates gave Baltueis a six month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £150 criminal courts charge and a £15 victim surcharge.