A THIEF who stole two charity boxes from Southampton General Hospital has admitted he is the “lowest of the low”.
Drug addict Glen Williams and accomplice Samantha Parker were caught on CCTV stealing the tins filled with donations given by generous patients and their families.
A court heard that Williams had told police what he had done was a “really low act and chavvy thing to do”.
Last night the charities targeted branded the thefts saddening and disappointing and welcomed the prosecutions.
The money – about £100 in total – was destined for Cancer Research UK and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.
Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard how the couple were spotted stealing the boxes by a sharp-eyed Costa Coffee worker.
Parker, a 33-year-old heroin addict, stuffed them under her clothes, while Williams, a drug addict of 26 years, cuddled her as they fled the hospital.
But the worker told security guards, who tracked them down on the CCTV cameras and called police who followed the pair to a flat in Coxford Road.
The pair admitted smashing open the boxes and taking the money before hiding the empty containers on the roof of the block of flats.
They intended to use the cash for drugs, the court heard.
It was revealed in court that Parker had only just come out of jail when she stole the money – and was even on police bail for stealing chilled meats and cheeses from One Shop at the time, which she also pleaded guilty to in court.
Meanwhile, Williams was in breach of a conditional discharge handed to him for stealing a £39.99 food processor from Argos in Southampton in January. Parker’s defence solicitor Chris Gaiger urged magistrates to jail his client – saying she wanted to be in prison for at least eight months so she could detox from her heroin addiction.
He said: “She wants to go to prison. She has a very serious heroin problem which leads her to commit offences very often. If she walks free today she said she has no money and she will resort to stealing.
“I appreciate it is a strange request but she wants to detox and she said this takes at least 28 days.”
David Adams, representing Williams, said that his client in police interview had admitted it was a stupid mistake saying “it is a really low act and chavvy thing to do”.
He said: “Mr Williams understands the offence is very unpleasant and that it makes the public very indignant. Any theft of a charity box is to be deplored, Mr Williams understands this.
“I think he has an understanding of how low he has stooped by stealing from charities in this way and I would ask the court to take this as genuine remorse.”
He added Williams wanted to turn his life around and break the drug cycle and would “grasp any opportunity the courts are prepared to put his way.”
Chairman of the bench Ann Press branded it a “particularly nasty offence” and jailed Parker for 12 weeks for the charity box thefts and two weeks for the One Stop theft.
She handed Williams a 12-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered him to complete a nine-month drug rehabilitation programme.