Mablethorpe '˜petrol thief' is sentenced

A persistent petrol thief was '˜suffering financial hardship' because of having to take his children for hospital appointments, a court has been told.


Benjamin Richard Ambridge, 30, of Ivel Grove, Mablethorpe, admitted three offences of stealing petrol by making off without paying from Morrison’s in Wainfleet Road, Skegness, during September and October last year.

He asked for a fourth similar offence from Tesco’s petrol station to be taken into consideration when he was sentenced.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, said he was seen on CCTV images and, when interviewed by police, admitted he was the one in the pictures.

Mitigating, Philippa Chatterton, said Ambridge had voluntarily attended the police station and there had been no offending in the five months since.

She said the family had been experiencing financial hardship because his children both suffered from asthma and had to attend numerous hospital appointments in Lincoln, Scunthorpe and Grimsby, and that Ambridge only had part-time agency work.

She said that on the first occasion he had genuinely forgotten to pay but when he realised how easy it was, he did it again, although he knew eventually he would be caught as all petrol stations have CCTV cameras operating.

Ambridge was given a two year conditional discharge, and was ordered to pay £191 compensation and £105 in costs and charges.