“I didn’t know People on benefits drinks Champagne” – Judge tell thief

A judge reportedly told a woman caught stealing a bottle of bubbly that he “didn’t know people who were on benefits were into champagne”.

Nichola Vout, a mother-of-two from Teeside, was caught on CCTV in a Stockton Co-op stashing the bottle in her handbag.

According to the Teeside Gazette the 33-year-old claimed she was forced to steal the £25 bubbly because a delay in her benefits payment meant she couldn’t pay for it.

But Judge Gary Garland said: “It seems to me you have gone on a thieving mission and been caught.”

He expressed his surprise that someone on benefits would enjoy a bottle of champagne and chastised her for committing the “fairly pathetic little offence”.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard how Vout stole the bottle on August 3, but admitted everything to police when she was later stopped in her car.

 She requested mitigation, claiming her long-term relationship has broken down and there had been a delay in the change to her benefit payments.

Judge Garland ordered her to pay £85 costs and a £20 charge, adding: “That’s £105 for a bottle of Champagne you didn’t even drink. It has been an expensive afternoon out.”

Source : Standard UK

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