A HUNGRY man who stole shopping bags from a woman in a pub has found himself in court.
Douglas Donaldson, of Grove Road, Eastbourne, appeared before the town’s magistrates on Tuesday morning (March 29) and pleaded guilty to stealing the shopping bags at the Duke of Devonshire pub on December 5.
The court heard the victim, Stephanie Scully, had done her weekly shop and stopped off for a drink in the pub on the way home.
Donaldson, 46, stole the shopping bags when Ms Scully went outside for a cigarette with a friend.
When the women returned to their seats they noticed the bags had gone and spoke to the bar staff about the theft.
A barman checked the CCTV and identified the man who took the bags as Donaldson.
The following week Stephanie Scully returned to the Duke of Devonshire and saw Donaldson in the pub.
She asked the barman to confirm it was him before she called the police.
Officers arrested Donaldson for theft and in a police interview he admitted he had stolen the shopping which contained food and cigarettes.
Prosecutor Jeremy King told magistrates Donaldson had stolen £70 worth of good from Ms Scully but the defendant disputed the value claiming there were only cigarettes, crisps and peanuts in the bag.
Noelle Magennis, defending, said Donaldson was struggling for money at the time of the offence because his benefits had been suspended.
She said he was hungry and added, “Desperate times called for desperate measures.”
Magistrates imposed a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered Donaldson to pay £70 in compensation and £30 in court costs.