Shoplifter stole from Barking Asda to fund funeral

A man caught shoplifting to fund his brother’s funeral costs in Romania was ordered to pay £205.

Ion Serafim, 47, was caught stealing £41 worth of cleaning products at Vicarage Fields Asda in Barking on September 24.

Pleading guilty at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court yesterday he blamed the recent death of his brother for the reason he resorted to the crime.

Prosecuting, Paul Nagle said: “He initially placed the items in a shopping basket and then transferred them to his own bag.

“He left the store without attempting to pay for them. The items were recovered by security in a saleable condition and he was then arrested and interviewed.”

Defending him, Gaspard Davies-Jones, started by asking the bench to credit Serafim’s guilty plea and explained: “What’s happened is that two months ago his brother passed away in Romania.

“Because of this he has needed to send a significant amount of money back home to pay for funeral arrangements.”

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Mr Davies-Jones told the court Serafim works on a construction site where he earns £150 a week and said: “He promises there won’t be a pattern here, it’s been expensive to pay for the funeral but he has his son here to help out too now.”

Echoing his solicitor, Serafim added: “It will never happen again. I will never get in any further trouble.”

Chairman of the bench, Paul Wilson, explained stealing from a shop comes under the “band b” fine, which means having to pay back his relative weekly income.

He told him: “Your fine would be £150 but because you pleaded guilty we’re going to reduce it to £100.”

Court costs and a victim surcharge pushed the total to £205.

Read more:

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