Russian turns to crime after being denied work

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A RUSSIAN man took to stealing as he could not get a national insurance number to work in this country, a court heard.

Andrejs Ornovskis, 36, of Emmanuel Road, pleaded guilty to stealing clothes and alcohol from Marks and Spencers and aftershave from Superdrug when he appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court.

The court heard that he had been involved in a spate of thefts going back to November.

One of the recent thefts, this month, was committed while he was on bail for another theft offence.

But Ornovskis told the court: “The only reason I am stealing is that I have no money.”

Jeremy King, prosecuting, said: “On January 16 in Marks and Spencers he was seen to select two bottles of alcohol, putting one in a carrier bag and the other under his coat and left without making any attempt to pay for them.

“He re-entered the store half an hour later and took a jacket and a pair of chinos valued at £198.

“He was identified and arrested at home. Police recovered the clothing but not the alcohol. He told the police he was so drunk he could not remember anything.

“He was released on bail on January 17 but the next day went into Superdrug and concealed aftershave valued at £43.99 in his jacket.

“The police were called and he made full admission to the theft.

“His history of offending started in November last year. He was arrested for theft on New Year’s Eve and is in breach of a conditional discharge for that offence.”

Aiden Harvey, defending, said: “I have to admit he is pushing his luck.

“He has lived here for several months now and cannot get a national insurance number, which would allow him to work. He has been offered work on a building site. The language barrier has caused him problems.

“He told me that if he could make a living he would not be stealing.”

Magistrates chairman Gordon Waters told Ornovskis: “This is a recent spree of offences.

“We have considered sending you to prison but have decided to take a lenient approach to allow you to find some work.”

He was sentenced to a total of 150 hours of unpaid community work.