A BROMSGROVE man has been ordered to pay back £600 after he found a iPhone 6, and sold it for £60.
Tony Howarth, of Beech Road, pleaded guilty at Redditch Magistrates Court on Tuesday (March 1) to theft by finding.
Mark Soper, prosecuting, told the court the owner of the phone, Louise Rudge, was shopping in Asda in Bromsgrove when she left the phone at the side of the self-service checkout.
Howarth used the checkout after her and picked up the iPhone and went to walk out of the store. Mrs Rudge returned and asked him if he had seen it but he denied it and left with the phone which he later sold in Bristol for £60.
The CCTV was examined and the 34-year-old was identified as taking the phone.
Defence solicitor Jo Outhwaite said Howarth was in a difficult place at the time and picked the phone up and put it down as he was in two minds whether or not to take it.
“When the lady approached him and he had the chance to make good what he had done, he panicked and quickly left the store.
“He is extremely sorry and is embarrassed by being in court.
She added he had just lost his job and was going through family struggles which, in turn, had had an impact on his work, putting him ‘in a very bad place emotionally and financially’.
District Just Nigel Cadbury said: “Everyone expects other people around will be honest and hand over the item.
“It happens quite a lot, people leaving things behind or forgetting them and most will see this and find it and take it back buy you did the opposite and kept the item.
“This seems to have been out of character for you but it must have been extremely annoying and aggravating for the victim in this case.”
Howarth was given a 12-month conditional discharge and was order to pay £600 compensation to Mrs Rudge alongside £200 in costs.