Jobless man who went nearly two months without benefits resorted to theft

A desperate jobless man who had not received his Universal Credit benefits for seven weeks resorted to stealing two bottles of perfume to sell to buy food.

Tuesday, 6th March 2018, 12:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th March 2018, 12:35 pm
Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, February 28, how James Leslie Herberts, 38, of Arundel Close, Chesterfield, stole the perfume from Lloyds Pharmacy, on Sheffield Road, Chesterfield.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “Herberts went to Low Pavements to Lloyds Pharmacy to pick up a prescription and he was seen on CCTV putting two items of perfume valued at £80 into his coat and he left and the perfume was not recovered.

“The manager contacted police and he was arrested when he came back to the pharmacy on February 9.

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“The defendant said he went to pick up the perfume after collecting his prescription and he said he did so because of a lack of funds and he had not had his Universal Credit funding and he hadn’t had money for seven weeks.”

Herberts pleaded guilty to the theft which happened on February 6.

Defence solicitor John Wilford said Herberts had managed to get clean of drugs and he had gone to the pharmacy to get his Subutex which is used to help recovering addicts.

However, Herberts who had been on Employment Support Allowance benefits was being transferred to Universal Credit, according to Mr Wilford, and he has not received any benefits for seven weeks apart from a small discretionary fund.

Mr Wilford said Herberts had been borrowing money from friends but he had become desperate and committed the theft.

Magistrates fined Herberts £40 and he must pay a £30 victim surcharge, £85 costs and £80 compensation.