A TEENAGER who stole a charity box intended for a Sheffield children’s hospice was told by magistrates the offence was ‘despicable’.
Oliver Metcalf, aged 19, snatched the Bluebell Wood donations from a newsagent’s shop in Dronfield on December 7.
He was later identified from CCTV footage and told police he had spent the money on food and cigarettes.
“The hospice receives no government grant and relies purely on charitable donations from the public,” said prosecutor Becky Mahon, adding Metcalf expressed remorse for the offence.
Metcalf, of Eastwood Park apartments, Rempstone Drive, Hasland, Chesterfield, admitted theft of the box.
Chesterfield magistrates told him it was “a despicable offence just before Christmas.”
They fined him £65 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and £30 compensation.
“He can’t offer any explanation. It wasn’t planned. He was on benefits having lost his job and he was struggling to cope financially,” said Annette Thomas, for Metcalf.
“He has been living with his grandmother for nine months due to ongoing arguments with his mother.”.