Charity thief begins prison sentence

A CALLOUS thief who stole charity collection boxes from shops in Weston has begun a 24 week prison sentence.

A CALLOUS thief who stole charity collection boxes from shops in Weston has begun a 24 week prison sentence.

Bruno Maffei pleaded guilty to three counts of theft at North Somerset Courthouse on December 3 and was sentenced on Friday.

The 48-year-old, of Locking Road, Weston, admitted taking the boxes, put out to collect money for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, so he could use the money to buy heroin.

The offences took place on October 28 at the One Stop Community Stores in Locking Road, Weston, on November 1 at Good Days News in Milton Road, Weston, and on November 10 at Somerfield in High Street, Worle.


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According to Maffei each box he stole did not contain more than £25.

The self-confessed drug addict was arrested on December 2 after CCTV cameras from all three shops showed him carrying out the thefts.

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Miss Williams, prosecuting, said: "Each offence was captured on CCTV cameras, where he can be seen waiting around and talking on his mobile phone before taking the boxes and concealing them under his coat.

"Each theft was carried out using the same method and seemed to be pre-meditated."

Maffei has four previous convictions for stealing charity boxes in Weston between August 2006 and June this year.

According to Mr Rowlands, defending, Maffei consumes one or two bags of heroin every day, and sometimes more if he has enough money.

He added: "I do not think prison is the best way to deal with this. I think the correct way would be to provide him with help to get rid of his addiction.

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