Former Barnstaple drug addict stole steak and 20 duck breasts
A FORMER drug addict stole a rib-eye steak and 20 duck breasts from two stores in Barnstaple to pay off a drug debt, a court heard.
Neil Metters, 41, of The Maples, St George's Road, Barnstaple appeared before North Devon Magistrates' Court on Friday .
He pleaded guilty to two charges of theft as well as a third charge of using threatening words and behaviour.
Metters stole the steak, worth £12.86, from Marks & Spencer in Barnstaple on December 2 to eat because he had no money to buy food. On December 13 he stole the duck breasts, worth £88, from Lidl in the town to repay an old drug debt, the court was told.
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Ben Winzer, for the prosecution, said the defendant had been arrested on December 8 for showing threatening behaviour towards members of the public in Barnstaple town centre.
Zara Svensson, for the defence, said this had been a cry for help from her client.
She said: "He had been sleeping rough in Rock Park and he couldn't take it any longer.
"He hoped by being arrested he would get a roof over his head.
"This is not something he wanted to do."
She said he had stolen the meat out of desperation and since then Metters has started to change his life around and has found accommodation.
Magistrates gave Metters a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £15.