Chocolate thief Dagenham student ordered to pay £150

The theft - and the scuffle that ensued - happened in Lidl

The theft - and the scuffle that ensued - happened in Lidl - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A music student who stole a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates from Lidl was ordered by a court to pay £150 with his pocket money.

Kordel Johnson, 18, from Charles Road, Dagenham, who studies music at Barking and Dagenham College, pleaded guilty on January 8 to theft from the Ripple Road shop two days before Christmas.

He was also charged with assault by beating after a scuffle with security guard Joshua Alawode that broke a gold chain the guard was wearing.

Johnson’s defence solicitor for his hearing at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court said the theft was a pre-Christmas prank, and that he acted in self-defence as the guard was hurting him.

Mr Alawode stopped Johnson with the Ferrero Rocher and a drink after he passed all checkouts without trying to pay, the court heard.

“He grabbed Mr Alawode around the throat with his hands. This caused a chain to break,” the prosecution said.

“Mr Alawode was assisted by other members of staff and Mr Johnson was detained.”

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He was arrested and made a full confession, the court heard, saying “I can’t believe I was so stupid”.

His defence solicitor, Mr Khan, said: “It was just a silly thing to do. “It was the run-up to Christmas and it was a sort of prank.”

He added: “The way he was apprehended was causing him pain. It was in response to this that the altercation occurred.

“It wasn’t in a bid to escape the store.”

Mr Khan said Johnson was hoping for a career in the music industry and has never been arrested before.

The judge handed Johnson a conditional discharge of 18 months and ordered him to pay £50 compensation to the guard, plus £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

As a full time student he will pay out of his pocket money.

She added: “Please make sure that you don’t appear before the court again.”