Meat theft plot man fled store

RELUCTANT thief Lee Hayes was persuaded to help another man steal joints of meat from the Somerfield store in March. He slid the meat towards his accomplice as the beef was loaded into bags – but before the theft was complete Hayes ran out of the store. S

RELUCTANT thief Lee Hayes was persuaded to help another man steal joints of meat from the Somerfield store in March.

He slid the meat towards his accomplice as the beef was loaded into bags - but before the theft was complete Hayes ran out of the store.

Staff saw him driving away. He was tracked down and arrested and admitted helping to carry out the theft on April 5.

At Fenland Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, 24-year-old Hayes, of Angoods Lane, Chatteris, admitted stealing meat with another unknown person.


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Prosecuting, John Goodier told how store staff watched CCTV footage of Hayes and the other man stealing the meat, and the grocery manager followed Hayes outside and saw him leave in a car.

When arrested, Hayes admitted his involvement. He admitted sliding the meat to his accomplice but denied loading it into a bag. Somerfield was not sure how much meat was taken.

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Mitigating, David Chapple said Hayes had stolen to feed a drug habit in the past but had not taken drugs for some time. He had been persuaded to get involved in stealing the meat but before the theft was complete he left.

"He made it clear he had felt under pressure to help this person," he said, "but he didn't want to do it, so he disassociated himself and left."

Hayes was given an 18-month conditional discharge and told to pay £50 compensation and £50 costs.

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