Thief stole cash meter from friend’s home

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A THIEF has been ordered to pay £290 compensation for stealing a cash meter from a friend’s home.

Peter Meade, of Toward Road, Sunderland, took a Money Mark IV machine, a device to pay for rented household items, from the property in Fellgate Avenue, Jarrow.

The 22-year-old had been staying with the occupant at the time.

The court heard that when his friend went out to walk his dogs at 6am on Sunday, January 19, Meade took the meter and left. He pleaded guilty to a charge of theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “His friend came back to find no meter and no defendant.

“It doesn’t take the investigative skills of Hercule Poirot to find out who is responsible.

“He was arrested and said he was at the address and cut the wire on the meter and left on his bike.

“He took about £90 from the meter and threw it away.”

Paul Kennedy, defending, told magistrates that, while Meade admitted taking the meter - which is supplied by Welsh firm Buy as you View - he said the occupant of the address was aware that he was taking it.

Mr Kennedy said: “He was homeless at the time. He had nowhere to live and went to stay at the gentleman’s house.

“The occupant told him, ‘I’m going out.

“You take the meter, and we will split the money.”

Meade was given a 12-month conditional discharge as well as being ordered to pay compensation.