Wisbech man who featured in TV documentary in court for shoplifting

ONE of the out of work British workers who appeared in a job swap TV documentary with migrant workers has appeared in court accused of shoplifting.

Unemployed Ashley Nichols - who appeared on TV earlier this year in the BBC documentary The Day the Immigrants Left –admitted stealing �20 worth of nicotine gum from ASDA.

“I took it, my mate needed it there and then, I did it to help him out,” Ashley Nichols told police after his arrest.

Nichols, who had been filmed as he worked for a couple of days in an Indian restaurant, was before Fenland magistrates where he admitted a charge of shoplifting.

He had stolen �20 worth of nicotine gum from the Ads store in Wisbech, on behalf of a friend.

“He is on benefits, and is actively looking for work, he thinks he has got some work coming up in the future,” solicitor David Chapple told Fenland magistrates today.

Back in February, Nichols was shown on TV as he worked at the Ali Shan restaurant, but struggled to get to grips with the menu, and with tying a tie.

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The TV documentary had challenged unemployed Brits to take on jobs often carried out by immigrant workers. Nichols was one of four unemployed Fenlanders who had agreed to work at the restaurant, but was the only one who turned up for his shifts.

Nichols, 20, of Church Lane, Tydd St Giles, admitted stealing the gum on June 14; he had been caught on CCTV as he put it into his jacket.

Fenland CCTV was notified, and police officers identified Nichols, explained prosecutor Andrea Fawcett.

Mr Chapple said Nichols felt incredibly stupid, and was remorseful.

“He did it not to gain for himself, but at the request of a friend, who wanted the gum for his mother. At the time he was feeling low and depressed.

“It was an almost inexplicable offence; he is very sorry and wants to assure the court this will not happen again.”

Nichols was given a 12-month conditional discharge and must pay �20 compensation and �35 court costs.

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