Homeless man fails in bid to get prison bed

  • A Homeless man who stole a vodka drink from Marks & Spencer because he wants to go to jail and "stay alive" will have to commit a more serious offence for his wish to be granted, a court heard.

    John Golden, 51, begged a judge to lock him up so he does not have to sleep on the streets.

    But district judge Michael Snow, sitting at Westminster Magistrates' Court, said he could do nothing about Golden's homelessness, adding: "It is not a matter for me, it's a matter for your MP."

    Golden wanted to be caught when he grabbed the can of ready-mixed vodka and tonic from the M&S store in Euston Station on September 10, and was given a conditional discharge on August 8 this year, again for stealing a drink from a shop.

    He admitted stealing the £2.15 drink and said:

          "I have been trying to do this to get into prison and stay alive. I thought if I could get nicked, I would be sent to prison for a few weeks and get a roof over my head.

          I don't want to go to prison, but I don't know what else to do.

          I am not going to send you to prison for this offence. It is not serious enough, not that I am encouraging you to commit a more serious offence."

    He issued a £100 fine for the theft, £50 for breaching his conditional discharge and a £15 victim surcharge, but accepted Golden does not have any money.

    Source: The Standard



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