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Homeless man gave balloons to youngsters
A DRUNK man who had been homeless stole balloons to give to children playing by fountains in Worcester.
Stephen Booth, aged 32, who gave his address as St Paul’s Hostel in Tallow Hill, Worcester, admitted theft when he appeared before magistrates in Worcester.
The court heard how Booth stole the helium balloons worth £4 each from the Superdrome shop on Friday, August 10. It also placed him in breach of a conditional discharge which he also admitted.
Adrian Jones, prosecuting, said a member of staff noticed six balloons decorated with comic book characters had been stolen.
Booth was discovered by the river in the city with two balloons, having disposed of the other four.
He said: “He told police it was a spur of the moment thing and he was guilty.”
The conditional discharge was imposed for stealing three cans of lager worth £5.67 from the One Stop Shop in Pickersleigh Road, Malvern.
Paul Stanley, defending, said Booth, a father-of-one, was originally from Manchester but had spent time in care in the Herefordshire area after his mum and dad died from cancer when he was a boy. Mr Stanley said: “There are issues around custody because of his drink problem which he accepts he has got. It’s not long-standing.
“It’s something that has gone on in the last six months when he has been homeless.
“He has taken the balloons and given them to children by the fountains.
“He’s seen by numerous police officers doing that. His offences are alcohol-related.”
Magistrates gave him a community order for 12 months with supervision and an alcohol treatment plan to involve six sessions.
He was also ordered to pay compensation of £16 for the four balloons that were not recovered.