A TEENAGER told a court he stole sandwiches, a bag of crisps and some cookies because he was homeless and had not had anything to eat for two days.

Andrew Parrott admitted stealing the items, worth £5.60, from the Co-op in Henwick Road, St John’s, Worcester, when he appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court.

Sarah Stock, prosecuting, said CCTV footage was reviewed and a development worker from the YMCA in Worcester recognised Parrott as he had previously been a resident there.

She recognised the red baseball cap he was wearing at the time.

Parrott initially denied the theft but later admitted it had been him.

“He had money on him from a friend to buy tobacco but he did not use it,” said Mrs Stock.

“He said he was homeless and had not eaten for two days.”

Graham Morgan, defending, said Parrott aged 18, of Archers Close, Malvern, used to work for his father’s gardening firm, but that had since gone out of business and he had not been able to find more work.

He was currently staying with a friend and was “totally reliant” on support from his friends.

Magistrates ordered him to pay £5.60 compensation and gave him a six-month community order with a requirement to complete 36 hours at an “attendance centre”.

Chairman of the bench Richard Poppleton told him: “It will give you some stability. There is a lot ahead of you and this will put you on the right road and in a more positive direction.”

Parrott also admitted a bail offence after turning up for court two hours late.

Mr Poppleton said he would not impose a fine “bearing in mind your means”.