A “desperate” couple say they were forced to steal food from a supermarket to feed their baby after waiting weeks for benefits payments.
Shane Norman and Stacey Lawson were arrested after they used their child’s push chair to steal £21 worth of food during a visit to Iceland in Lincolnshire on October 5 last year.
Norman and Stacey appeared at Lincoln Magistrates Court on February 14 where they admitted one charge of theft, Lincolnshire reported .
The couple claimed they had to take the food to feed their baby as they could not keep going to the food bank.
Prosecutor Emma Wright said: “On October 5 last year, both Mr Norman and Miss Lawson entered Iceland in Lincoln and concealed a number of items and left the store.
“In interview, they admitted the offence and that it was unlawful. They said they were going to eat the items and wash clothes.”
Norman and Lawson, of Hermit Street in Lincoln, both admitted one charge of theft from a shop when they appeared at Lincoln Magistrates Court on February 14.
In mitigation, Mark McNeil said: “The couple were caught in a benefits gap as it was changing over to universal credit.
“They were left for weeks without any income. This was an act of desperation.
“Had the benefits been paid on time as they should be, they would have not found themselves in this situation.
“They could not keep going to the food bank to get their meals.”
Norman was given a conditional discharge of nine months, ordered to pay compensation of £11 and a victim surcharge of £20.
Lawson was also given a conditional discharge of nine months, ordered to pay £30 compensation and a £20 victim surcharge.
People put on to Universal Credit have to wait five weeks for the new benefit to be administered.
It reduces six benefits into one catch-call payment, but the five-week wait has led to criticism from many that the system leaves people with no money for weeks – and there have been countless stories about extra delays on top of that.
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