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Former charity worker stole food

Defendant had been wrongfully imprisoned, court hears

John Garvey

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John Garvey

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A MAN who was wrongfully imprisoned went shoplifting upon his release.

Former charity worker Jonathan Griffin, who has no fixed address and sleeps rough under bridges in Newbury, appeared before Reading magistrates on Thursday, April 20.

Sarah McKay, prosecuting, said staff in Sainsbury’s in Hectors Way, Newbury, saw the 26-year-old acting suspiciously and monitored him on CCTV as he left the store without paying for goods he selected.

Mr Griffin was arrested and admitted stealing food and alcohol together worth £32.75 on April 3.

Phil Kouvaritakis, defending, said his client had just been released from prison where he had been held on remand until he was cleared of his alleged crimes.

He added: “He is a former charity worker, very eloquent and has a lot to offer the world of work.

“But he is homeless, having been released from prison and was using alcohol to help him sleep.

He sleeps rough by the riverside in Newbury, under a bridge.”

Magistrates made Mr Griffin subject to a six-month conditional discharge.

He was also ordered to pay a statutory victim services surcharge of £20.

No order for costs was made because of his lack of means and no compensation was ordered because the goods were recovered.

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