Man "desperate" for food altered food bank vouchers - The Worcester Observer

Man "desperate" for food altered food bank vouchers

Worcester Editorial 25th Nov, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016   0

A MAN ‘caught in a vicious cycle of offending’ has been fined for doctoring a food bank voucher.

Lee Williamson, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud at Worcester Magistrates Court on Friday (November 20).

The 34-year-old was part of the police’s Integrated Offender Management programme which helps people who have served time in prison get back into the community.

As part of the programme, Williamson was given food bank vouchers but the court heard he altered them to claim for children he did not have.

Lesley Ashton, prosecuting, said: “He was given a food bank voucher on November 5 to collect enough food for two adults for three days, but when he went to the food bank in Worcester, he had altered the figures on the voucher to claim for children as well, even though he doesn’t have any children to support or assist.

“Williamson received five bags of food equating to a family shop for five people for three days. Police have since recovered some of the food.

“When he was arrested he said to police: ‘all I did was add a couple of names to the voucher and all I got was a couple of tins of beans. It’s not the crime of the century’.”

Barrie Newton, defending, said: “He was released from prison before that offence and had found accommodation.

“Because his benefits hadn’t recommenced, he had no money for food and was desperate. Williamson was in a vicious cycle of offending but is prepared and willing to do something positive,” he added.

Chair of the bench, Harry Turner, fined Williamson £50, and ordered him to pay prosecution costs of £105, £180 in court charges and a victim surcharge of £20.

He was also sentenced to a community order for 12 months.

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