Richard John Billings, 47, from Bridgwater has been jailed following his guilty plea over the theft of two charity boxes, as well as other offences.

Billings was clearly seen on CCTV footage, after he broke into the Aldi supermarket on June 3rd. He was seen breaking the shutters and causing damage to the doors of the supermarket, before taking a charity box, containing £15, for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

He was supposedly distressed after discovering what the charity was, but this did not stop him from  doing the same thing at Sainsbury’s on June 18th, where he was recognised by staff. Two days later, he returned and attempted to steal two steaks from the supermarket, but he was spotted by a member of staff and apprehended.

Appearing in Taunton Crown Court his solicitor, Patrick Mason, said “Sadly, his record speaks for itself. He has led a life of low level acquisitive crime, largely due to the abuse of alcohol and at various times drugs. He’s visited the courts on a very, very regular basis.

he continued by stating that Billings had remained out of trouble for 30 months while he was both working and living at the Newmarket Hotel, Bridgwater. This only ending when he was sacked after being falsely accused of stealing.

Judge David Ticehurst told Billings: “Targeting charity boxes is an easy way of obtaining a few pounds for you. You have an appalling record.

Billings received a total of 16 months, to run consecutively:

  • 2 months – Aldi burglary
  • 2 months – for each of the Sainsbury’s robberies
  • 8 months – as he already had a suspended sentence at the time

If you would like to support the Teenage Cancer Trust, you can find out more about them at

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