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Couple Escape Jail For Stealing Out Of Date Food From Bin

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3078150/Bin-diving-parents-caught-CCTV-stealing-date-food-Tesco-thrown-feed-two-young-children.html

'How else could they manage?' Judge's mercy for bin-diving parents charged with stealing out-of-date food that Tesco had thrown out, to feed their two young children
  • Pair stole out-of-date food from bins because they couldn't afford to buy it
  • Paul and Kerry Barker's benefits had been stopped and they had no money
  • Mr Barker was a scaffolder until he fell and broke his back, preventing him from work, while Mrs Barker worked for a council until she got depression
  • Because pair can't afford to feed them their children live with grandparents

A husband and wife who were caught on CCTV stealing out-of-date food from Tesco bins to survive have avoided sentencing after a sympathetic judge said 'how are they expected to live?'

Paul Barker, 39, and Kerry Barker, 29, of Sunderland, were spotted on CCTV sifting through out-of-date groceries at the back of a store on January 5 after their benefits were stopped and they could not afford to feed themselves or their children.

They were caught by police taking worthless discarded food from a supermarket bin in a bid to feed their hungry family and were charged with theft - and the matter made it to court.

..

But District Judge Roger Elsey took pity on them and said the food they took was not worth anything.

He said he could not impose a penalty in such a case because they are clearly struggling - and gave Mr Barker an absolute discharge.

The judge said: 'How are they expected to live? It seems to me the appropriate punishment for taking food which is of no value is an absolute discharge.

'I clearly can't make any financial order.'

Prosecutor Jeanette Smith said the pair were seen in the rear compound of the Hetton Road Tesco Express store, Sunderland, removing a pallet of food.

She explained that although the items were to be thrown out they were in a secure compound, adding that Tesco's policy is not to give away discarded food.

What a waste of food and taxpayers money. Tesco could give the food away to the poor rather than throwing it in the bin. We live in a crazy society where big business can throw away perfectly good food and then prosecute anyone who decides to steal something they deem worthless.

Although in the ye olden days these two would have been hung.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3078150/Bin-diving-parents-caught-CCTV-stealing-date-food-Tesco-thrown-feed-two-young-children.html

What a waste of food and taxpayers money. Tesco could give the food away to the poor rather than throwing it in the bin. We live in a crazy society where big business can throw away perfectly good food and then prosecute anyone who decides to steal something they deem worthless.

Although in the ye olden days these two would have been hung.

And they would have been grateful for it as well! ;)

I've seen Tesco throw away in-store baked bread etc. at 8-9pm in the evening without even having bothered to put a yellow reduced sticker on (they certainly break it up and might even have poured something over it). ASDA on the other hand will just yellow sticker it and flog it off for 20p or whatever and it all seems to shift.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3078150/Bin-diving-parents-caught-CCTV-stealing-date-food-Tesco-thrown-feed-two-young-children.html

What a waste of food and taxpayers money. Tesco could give the food away to the poor rather than throwing it in the bin. We live in a crazy society where big business can throw away perfectly good food and then prosecute anyone who decides to steal something they deem worthless.

Although in the ye olden days these two would have been hung.

Its an iffy one for the supermarkets...If they give something away, that is beyond its use by date, and some one becomes ill, then they can be liable..

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What a waste of food and taxpayers money. Tesco could give the food away to the poor rather than throwing it in the bin. We live in a crazy society where big business can throw away perfectly good food and then prosecute anyone who decides to steal something they deem worthless.

Although in the ye olden days these two would have been hung.

Tesco couldn't give away out-of-date food. Not without the risk of severe penalties for violating food safety rules. And given how many a***holes there are who will grab any excuse to attack Tesco, that risk becomes something close to a certainty.

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What I find quite disturbing is the 'sanctions' where people commit a crime (missing a meeting at the job center) and are punished with starvation, as per this family. I am sure there are people who do not deserve all the benefits they receive but I suspect that it is the non-savvy benefit claimants who suffer these sanctions not the life-time benefit claimants.

Yep. I can confirm, when I last lost a job (2010-11) I faced all kinds of stupid and arbitrary obstacles. Not least, being sanctioned for travel to Brussels for a weekend, despite pointing out that the Brussels event (FOSDEM) was my best chance for a new job.

Not a problem then, in that I had ample savings. Much worse was 2002-3, when I had run out of savings and was making less money than I should've got in benefits, but was denied them because I wasn't sitting idle at home and therefore wasn't "available". It's a game, and there's something of an either/or between getting to grips with the rules and playing the system vs getting a job.

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It's a very odd story. Firstly in that sanctions are being used with impunity. Someone referred to untermensch in another thread. Shades of 'we were only following orders.' Secondly that 'recycling' food that was being thrown away is deemed a 'crime' worthy of prosecution.

We seem to be descending down a rabbit hole. I fear it will get worse. As lies unravel the reaction on high tends to be more extreme (see GFC, and how this has surprised us all here).

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Secondly that 'recycling' food that was being thrown away is deemed a 'crime' worthy of prosecution.

That tells us there's more to this story than we've been told. Perhaps something like details of what they had to break/violate to access the food in question.

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That tells us there's more to this story than we've been told. Perhaps something like details of what they had to break/violate to access the food in question.

Maybe. But is there really a need for such draconian acts of punishment (sanctions)? Meanwhile earlier on somesuch channel was a new series of Benefits Street.

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I expect to hear more too and let's face it if you can get done for stealing out of date food may as well get done for stealing something of more value.

What I find quite disturbing is the 'sanctions' where people commit a crime (missing a meeting at the job center) and are punished with starvation, as per this family. I am sure there are people who do not deserve all the benefits they receive but I suspect that it is the non-savvy benefit claimants who suffer these sanctions not the life-time benefit claimants.

And if people are driven to desperation then it's a small step to a real crime. It seems that the safety net can be removed for some trivial reason.

Cousin of mine with severe learning difficulties was turfed off of disabled benefits onto JSA. When he couldn't understand what he needed to do he was sanctioned.

Lost his HB as well.

So lost his flat (his carer had already been removed when he was put onto JSA).

Went missing for a while and was eventually found hungry and homeless.

Now living with an elderly relative who is supporting him using her state pension.

All pretty grim really and I can't see why it's his fault he's "slow" (he's an adopted cousin - his real mum damaged him through drug abuse when he was in utero and eventually died of an overdose).

He could have quite easily died tbh.

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Cousin of mine with severe learning difficulties was turfed off of disabled benefits onto JSA. When he couldn't understand what he needed to do he was sanctioned.

Lost his HB as well.

So lost his flat (his carer had already been removed when he was put onto JSA).

Went missing for a while and was eventually found hungry and homeless.

Now living with an elderly relative who is supporting him using her state pension.

All pretty grim really and I can't see why it's his fault he's "slow" (he's an adopted cousin - his real mum damaged him through drug abuse when he was in utero and eventually died of an overdose).

He could have quite easily died tbh.

Very sad story the elderly relative needs to seek some professional advice maybe a visit to the local C.A.B could start the ball rolling

As mentioned above the system is a game if the player don`t know/understand the rules of the game they are destined to lose every time

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pallet load..? they must eat a lot

Prosecutor Jeanette Smith said the pair were seen in the rear compound of the Hetton Road Tesco Express store, Sunderland, removing a pallet of food.

I notice the Daily Wail article doesnt quite say that....doesnt sound so good.

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Pallet load? Did they have a forklift truck and a lorry? Case thrown out. I suspect this is exaggeration. That said, likely to be more to it - it is The Mail.

Pity they don't just sell it off cheap near the sell-by date like normal supermarkets.

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Pallet load? Did they have a forklift truck and a lorry? Case thrown out. I suspect this is exaggeration. That said, likely to be more to it - it is The Mail.

Pity they don't just sell it off cheap near the sell-by date like normal supermarkets.

http://www.approvedfood.co.uk/

http://www.clearancexl.co.uk/foodanddrink

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Very sad story the elderly relative needs to seek some professional advice maybe a visit to the local C.A.B could start the ball rolling

As mentioned above the system is a game if the player don`t know/understand the rules of the game they are destined to lose every time

I think she did try but gave up.

Apparently the local CAB has been largely replaced with an expensive to call automatic phone line and she just gave up in the end after being unable to find an actual human being able to help her.

I would imagine the pressure on help services like the CAB has been immense actually.

Having looked, it does seem most CABs have been cut (so that might explain the trouble she had).

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-citizens-advice-works/media/press-releases/cuts-in-cab-funding-leaving-thousands-with-nowhere-to-turn-for-help/

Edit: should add, I'm a lifelong Tory on the brink of my state pension now.

The fact things like this are happening whilst I'm in line to receive a windfall of benefits I don't really need in a few years (because they've been protected) and tens of billions are being spent to prop up the housing market...

Very very sad.

Sort of grateful it opened my eyes a bit in a way. Now regularly give to a local foodbank. Having visited can confirm the notion they're full of feckless tattooed lager-swilling chain-smoking idiots is a horrible myth. Mostly disabled or slow folk like my cousin. And quite a lot of folk who have been in (low wage) work for 20/30 years suddenly redundant in the 50s/60s as well.

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I think she did try but gave up.

Apparently the local CAB has been largely replaced with an expensive to call automatic phone line and she just gave up in the end after being unable to find an actual human being able to help her.

I would imagine the pressure on help services like the CAB has been immense actually.

Having looked, it does seem most CABs have been cut (so that might explain the trouble she had).

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-citizens-advice-works/media/press-releases/cuts-in-cab-funding-leaving-thousands-with-nowhere-to-turn-for-help/

Edit: should add, I'm a lifelong Tory on the brink of my state pension now.

The fact things like this are happening whilst I'm in line to receive a windfall of benefits I don't really need in a few years (because they've been protected) and tens of billions are being spent to prop up the housing market...

Very very sad.

Sort of grateful it opened my eyes a bit in a way. Now regularly give to a local foodbank. Having visited can confirm the notion they're full of feckless tattooed lager-swilling chain-smoking idiots is a horrible myth. Mostly disabled or slow folk like my cousin. And quite a lot of folk who have been in (low wage) work for 20/30 years suddenly redundant in the 50s/60s as well.

perhaps you could help her as you seem benefit savvy - she cannot probably use the entitled to form :)

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perhaps you could help her as you seem benefit savvy - she cannot probably use the entitled to form :)

Double angry post.

To be honest the first one was unnecessary.

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The headline is "'How else could they manage?' Judge's mercy for bin-diving parents charged with stealing out-of-date food that Tesco had thrown out, to feed their two young children"

But the article then goes on to explain the children live 100 miles away and are no longer in their care. The food was stolen for the parents to eat.

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The headline is "'How else could they manage?' Judge's mercy for bin-diving parents charged with stealing out-of-date food that Tesco had thrown out, to feed their two young children"

But the article then goes on to explain the children live 100 miles away and are no longer in their care. The food was stolen for the parents to eat.

:lol:

Whose is the suggestion that they "escaped" jail? And the implied suggestion that they might have been jailed?

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