Hungry Kidderminster woman stole Mars bars after benefit sanctions left her with no money for food

A WOMAN who stole the cheapest food in a store because she was hungry and had no money was told by a magistrate it was not acceptable she stole “just for being hungry”.

Louisa Sewell was the latest victim of benefit sanctions to appear before magistrates when she stole a four pack of Mars bars, worth just 75p, from Heron Foods in the Swan Centre, Kidderminster, on June 22, because she had not eaten in days.

 Adrian Jones, prosecuting, said the 32-year-old was seen on CCTV picking the confectionary and putting it in her body warmer before leaving the store without paying.

In mitigation, her solicitor Susie Duncan said Sewell’s benefits had been sanctioned and she had no money or anyone to turn to for help so had not eaten for days when she stole the cheapest food from the store.

She said: “She fully accepts this offence of theft. She said she was really hungry. She had no money. In her interview she said she was really hungry, had no money for food, and took the lowest value item she could find.” The defendant had been given food bank vouchers but it was closed when she went, Miss Duncan added.

Sewell, of Comberton Road, Kidderminster, pleaded guilty to theft when she appeared at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, August 6.

Chairman of the magistrates Maurice Lashford did not accept Sewell’s reasons for the theft. He said: “We do not readily accept you go into a shop to steal just for being hungry.”

He fined Sewell £73 for the theft and ordered she pay 75p in compensation to the store. He also imposed £150 in court charges, £85 in prosecution costs and a £20 victim surcharge.



Starving children have asked for school holiday meals from food bank

ALMOST 90 kids turned up at Glasgow food bank because parents were unable to provide meals for them.

HUNGRY children have been given emergency food packages during the school summer holidays, it was revealed yesterday. Nearly 90 youngsters on free school meals turned up at Glasgow’s Greater Maryhill Food Bank over a seven-day window at the start of August. And food bank co-ordinator Julie Webster, 38, confirmed the unit had seen a spike in the number of people asking for help over the holiday period.

She said: “The schools are off and the only nutritional meal some children get is a free meal at school.  We’ve had families come in and say they can’t provide lunch for their children. It’s heartbreaking. It was a big shock for me. It’s hardest when you see the children – they are the future generation. It must be one of the hardest things in life to come into a food bank and ask for help but I’m dragging people in off the street.”

The scale of food poverty was revealed as Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Maryhill to kickstart a £518,000 Emergency Food Fund. Research by the Trussell Trust revealed the number of people using food banks in Scotland has soared by 400 per cent over the past 12 months.

In that period, 71,428 people were handed emergency parcels – including more than 22,000 children.

The Scottish Government’s EEF initiative will split a pot of cash to projects which dish out aid across 17 local authority areas. Sturgeon said: “There’s a direct correlation between the increase in demand for food banks and the welfare cuts Westminster are introducing. As a Scottish Government, we want to mitigate the impact of these cuts.

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A Story That Should Scare Us All

Same Difference

From ATOS Miracles comes a story that has confirmed my worst fears for sick and disabled people as a result of energy price rises and welfare cuts.

Joan Wheatland

I just got this information from a nurse freind of mine last night…….a man who has diabetics type 2 and severe copd was brought in to hospital last night…..aged 61 his esa was stopped 8 weeks ago after being found fit 2 work….. it turns out he has been eating dried corn flakes for the last 5 weeks and has no electric on for 5 weeks….. he has had no heating or even able to boil a kettle for a hot drink…..he was not even able to use his nebulizer without electric…..the cold has got to his lungs and his blood sugars have gone dangerously low as type 2 diabetics must eat 3 times a day 2 keep blood sugars…

View original post 95 more words

Homeless Lincoln knife man is jailed for 21 months

A homeless man pulled a knife on a worker at an addiction counselling centre, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Mark Griffiths was in an agitated state when he arrived for an appointment with his project worker at the Addaction Centre in Newland, Lincoln.

Abigail Joyce, prosecuting, said Griffiths was aggressive towards the female worker as he ranted about having no money.

“He was saying the Job Centre wouldn’t help him and housing wouldn’t help him. He said he hadn’t eaten for a week.

“He said that if it wasn’t sorted he was going to kill someone. He made that reference three times. After he said it, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a knife.”

The female worker feared for her safety but he put the knife away.

Griffiths, 23, of no fixed address, admitted possession of a bladed article in a public place as a result of the incident on October 14.

He also admitted breach of a 12-week suspended jail sentence imposed just seven days earlier for an offence of acquiring criminal property.

He was jailed for 21 months.

Judge Sean Morris told him “You were in such a state it must have been absolutely terrifying for your victim. She was not to know whether you would use the knife or not. You were clearly affected by something and were threatening to kill people.”

David Eager, defending, said: “He has little memory of his meeting with her. When he was approached by the police he handed over the knife immediately.”

A selection of search terms 1.

I can see some of the search terms that have led people to this site but unfortunately I cannot see who has posted them. Unfortunate, because many of these people need immediate help.

Here’s a selection from the last 7 days. The site recorded 106 known search terms including:
    * Just had back surgery and have to attend WRAG group

    * how can you live when benefits are taken away due to a sanction

    * i’m at my wits end

    * why am I waiting so long to get my personal independence payment
    * atos stopped me working but 5 years later say Im fit to work, can i sue them for loss of earnings

    * doctor from ATOS said that I could do things that i couldnt

    * what happens if atos healthcare cancel the appointment

    * greater manchester starving

    * decision delays dwp

    * my disability benefits have been cut off how can I appeal

    * PIP delays

        * how long to wait for a PIP decision

    * victimised by employer for being put into the WRAG group

    * WRAG advisor ignoring my sick note

    * no money left job center

    * son missed JSA appointment how long do they stop the money for

    * depression and the DWP

    * made claim for PIP 23 weeks ago

Argotina1, 26th November 2016

Starving unemployed man sets fire to job centre to get meal in police cells

Bee O’Brien, 49, flew into a rage after a row over his benefits payments and set fire to the customer telephones at Moss Side job centre after he hadn’t eaten for three days

An unemployed man who hadn’t eaten for three days tried to set fire to the job centre – so he could have a meal in police custody.

Bee O’Brien, 49, flew into a rage after a row over his benefits payments and set fire to the customer telephones at Moss Side job centre. O’Brien had not eaten for three days after his benefits had been stopped.

He told police: “I will commit a crime and get arrested. I need some food.”

O’Brien, of Camelford Close, Hulme, admitted criminal damage, attempted arson, and using threatening words and behaviour when he appeared before Manchester magistrates.

 Gina Clayton, defending, said: “His benefits had been stopped for some reason and he hadn’t eaten for three days. He was simply desperate for some food. He went to the job centre to get his payments and lost his temper. He was aware that if he was arrested he would have been given food at the police station.”

Helen Veitch, prosecuting, told the court: “A member of staff at the job centre noticed he was arguing on the customer services advice telephone. He was noted to be aggressive and abusive.

by Pete Brainbridge in the ‘Manchester Evening News’, 26th September 2013:

“He was asked to leave the job centre, and was told the staff would phone police. She said the member of staff then ‘heard a clicking noise’ and saw O’Brien with a cigarette lighter.

She said: “He tried to set fire to the phone cable, then went to another phone and repeated the action. He said – ‘Yes, I’m setting fire to this to get arrested’. When police arrived he said: “If you don’t get my money I will commit a crime and get arrested. I need some food.”

He was detained but carried on being abusive in custody and hurled hot chocolate all over his cell.

He was given a 12 month community order and ordered to do 40 hours unpaid work

Can’t afford food because of bedroom tax – forced to steal.

A thief claimed she was forced to steal from Tesco because the bedroom tax was leaving her no money to pay for food.

Linda Newton, 54, from Eastgarth in Newbiggin Hall, pleaded guilty to taking £39.21 worth of groceries from the firm’s Kingston Park superstore – but said she had no choice as she either stole or starved.

In mitigation, solicitor Lewis Pearson said the Government’s controversial new levy was costing his client, who was dressed in a blue Karrimor coat, pink, white and grey Nike trainers and dark blue jogging bottoms, £50 per week and after paying for essentials she did not have enough left to eat.

“Newton is in a desperate situation,” he said. “And she doesn’t know what she is supposed to do.

“But it seems more like a social problem than a purely criminal matter.”

From the Northumbria ‘Chronicle Live’ 11th June 2013: Evening Chronicle: