Man stole £60 winnings from OAP in Chapel St Leonards

An 81-year-old pensioner had his £60 winnings stolen while he was still in the betting shop by a man who picked up and kept his wallet after he dropped it, a court has heard.

Liam John Matthews, 27, of South Road, Chapel St Leonards, admitted theft of the wallet and £80 in cash from Henry Carville, when he appeared at Boston Magistrates Court.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, said that on the afternoon of October 16, Mr Carville was in the Don Noble betting shop on South Road, when his wallet fell out of his jacket pocket.

He said Matthews picked it up, placed it down his trousers, then was seen to look up at the cctv camera, take out the wallet, remove the cash and put the wallet into his sock.

Mr Carville told police he had just won about £60 and that there was already around £20 in the wallet, as well as credit and debit cards which he had to cancel.

Michael Alexander, mitigating for Matthews, said he did not know the wallet belonged to Mr Carville or he would have returned it to him.

“Part of him thought ‘this is a bonus’ and a part ‘I ought to hand this in’,” said Mr Alexander, adding that it was ‘essentially a theft by finding’.

“He realises he was completely wrong and if he had been aware it had come from that gentleman, he never would have taken it,” he said.

The magistrates fined Matthews £150 and ordered him to pay compensation of £100 to Mr Carville and £115 in costs and charges.