Paul Barker, 39, and wife Kerry Barker, 29, were spotted on camera looking through groceries at the back of a Tesco store. The food was out-of-date and destined to be thrown out. The couple is down on their luck. Sadly, they indicated that they have no money to look after themselves or their kids.
The couple had a very unfortunate background, which caused them to allegedly be unable to work. Mr. Barker claims that both he and his wife used to work. However, he was forced to quit his job after breaking his back while working as a scaffolder. His wife, Kerry, needed to give up her job at Durham County Council five years ago due to depression. So the couple had no real source of income, according to the Mirror.
Their attorney, Angus Westgarth, defending them, stated that when they took the food they hadn’t received any government benefits and had no means to pay for food. He stated the following, according to the Mirror.
“At the time, they hadn’t had benefits or any money since December. It just seems that the state has failed them. They were told they would not get any benefits for a year from December. He [Paul Barker] is having to duck and dive to feed himself. Without a crystal ball I can see that this will continue to happen. He is trying to survive however he can. I think they call this way of living ‘freeganism.’ They take waste food and consume it. They are managing to live as, I think, Social Services are paying some money for housing. Their children are living with grandparents because of the situation.”
The couple cannot even take care of their own children because of a lack of money. As a result, their four-year-old boy and two-year-old daughter are living with their grandparents.
Although stealing is never right, the judge in this case had sympathy for the couple, who are just trying to live. They weren’t stealing to get rich or another self-serving reason. They were just trying to survive on food that was being thrown out. The pair was arrested.
District Judge Roger Esley said the food was worth nothing and he found Paul Barker innocent, according to METRO. Mrs. Barker hasn’t entered a plea, but she is also expected to also be found not guilty. The judge said the following: “I clearly can’t make any financial order.”
A Tesco store representative indicated that they do donate surplus food to people in need, through charity Fareshare. He indicated that they also redistribute food donated by their customers to the Trussell Trust, and stated the following, according to the Mirror.
“Working with the charity FareShare, we have already distributed over three million meals worth of surplus food to people in need and we are working on ways to make sure more surplus food is donated in this way. It is not safe to take food from bins and that is why we work with charities to redistribute surplus food that is safe to eat to people who need it.”
Do you think that the Barkers should have faced any charges for stealing food that was being thrown out and in light of their extreme circumstances? Please leave your comments below.
Unlike the Barkers who are just trying to get by and live, there are other thieves who are trying to get rich off of their deception. Many major retailers and large companies have been the victims of massive security breaches lately, including Target and Anthem. As a result of these wide-scale hacks, many credit card numbers have been compromised and are now being sold on the black market. In order to use the cards, the thieves are also using deception to try to obtain from the cardholders the three or four digit security code on the card, according to an article in the Inquisitr.
[Photo By Sean Gallup/Getty Images]