A MAN who stole a turkey at Christmas told the police the bird was too big for his oven.
Stanley Thompson had been drinking when he went into Somerfield in London Road, North End, and grabbed a £20 frozen turkey.
Security staff watched him as he hid the bird under his coat, left the shop without paying and went straight over the road to the Sir John Baker pub to carry on drinking.
When the police arrived the 58-year-old tried to make a run for it, dropping the bird in the street as he went.
Prosecutor Richard Withey told Portsmouth Crown Court: ‘He was arrested and described as heavily in drink.
‘During the course of his transport to the police station he wanted to know where his turkey was.’
In his police interview Thompson admitted stealing the turkey.
Mr Withey said: ‘He told the police he didn’t recall what his intention was with the turkey and it wouldn’t even fit in his oven.’
Thompson, of Fifth Street, Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to theft.
The court heard he had a number of previous convictions and the theft was 20 days after he was given a community order for threatening a woman with a metal bar.
Eileen Sproson, defending, said: ‘His mental health is vulnerable and when he drinks he undermines the stabilising properties of the medication he takes.’
She added: ‘Mr Thompson deeply regrets the fact that he committed this offence. He does not remember it.
‘It’s an offence he committed because of the influence of alcohol.’
Sentencing him, Judge Ian Pearson said: ‘You are a man with numerous previous convictions and you committed this offence within a few weeks of receiving a community order for various offences. However, I am of the view that it will be best, if at all possible, to avoid sending a person to prison for the theft of a turkey at Christmas.’
He added another nine months on to the community order Thompson is already serving.
Thompson, who is unemployed and on benefits, must attend 20 sessions of alcohol counselling to tackle his drink problem and he was told to pay £150 in costs.