A BUSINESSMAN was forced to sell several of his shops after a thief stole £11,402 in takings, a court heard.
Amir Sattari was on his rounds collecting cash from his Spar shops when Daniel Storey struck.
Mr Sattari admitted in court he left his car unlocked when he went into Spar in Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, on March 10 last year.
That left 34-year-old Storey able to go in and plunder the rucksack containing the cash from Mr Sattari’s Mercedes.
Storey admitted theft but claimed there was just £5,470 in the bag, forcing a judge to hold a hearing to decide who was telling the truth.
Giving evidence at Portsmouth Crown Court, Mr Sattari said he had since sold some of his Spar stores due to the ‘distress and all the problems’ due to the theft.
Storey maintained he stole only £5,470 but told the judge he spent the cash on a deposit for a flat for him and his partner and a week’s holiday. He claimed that left him with £800 from the theft.
Storey, of Hendy Close, Southsea, said he had taken the cash to a shop in Elm Grove and had it counted.
‘There was four bags in there when I went to the shop to change it,’ he said.
‘He counted it up in front of me – £5,470. I knows (sic) I stole but I’m not admitting to taking £10,000 or £11,000.’
In a bid to convince the judge he was telling the truth, Storey said he had been sentenced previously to an offence involving gold jewellery from a disabled girl.
He said when he was told who the items belonged to he returned them to the reception of Portsmouth Crown Court, even ending up being attacked by a person he knew.
But judge Claudia Ackner found against him, ruling there was £11,402 in the rucksack and jailed him for a year.
Storey admitted breaching a suspended sentence.
The court heard he has 52 convictions for 137 offences.