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Charity box thieves sentenced
A CHARITY box thief was caught out by staff at a travel agency ....and felt so guilty he actually put cash back INTO the box.
Jeremy Proctor and Scott Williams had tried to steal the box from Thomsons Travel, in Southend High Street, by cutting the cord attaching it to the counter.
Staff saw them and asked them to leave...when Williams put some money back on April 22.
A month earlier they had walked into the Westcliff Hotel and stolen a Marie Curie Cancer Care box worth just £18.
They had distracted the receptionist by saying they wanted to pay the outstanding balance on a wedding.
Proctor then handed her a credit card in his own name. While the receptionist who stepped away to confirm the booking, they fled with the charity money.
Proctor, 34, of Queens Road, Southend, and Williams, 31, of York Road, Southend, appeared before Southend Magistrates Court where they admitted theft and attempted theft.
Proctor asked for two further matters to be taken into consideration, one of which involved the theft of another charity box.
Simon Samuels, mitigating for Proctor, said he was being bullied into stealing by a man from Basildon who made his life a misery after he moved into his neighbourhood, but has since been jailed.
The court heard Williams had trying to help his friend because of the bullying.
Michelle Brindell, mitigating for him, said: "He felt so guilty he actually put some money back into the charity box."
They were both given a 12 month community order and must pay £10 compensation each to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Proctor must also complete a Thinking Skills programme while Williams must undertake a 'Building Skills to Recovery' programme run by the probation service.