Man stole Help for Heroes collection tin from Northampton café

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A man who stole a Help for Heroes charity tin from a Northampton café said he was “deeply embarrassed” by his own actions.

Paul Burke stole the box, containing more than £90, from The Park Café in Abington Park in August 2013. He was identified in CCTV footage a year later.

The 37-year-old admitted the theft and pleaded guilty at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Claire Fitzpatrick, defending, said: “He is deeply embarrassed by his actions and would like to apologise to the café and to everyone who gave their money.”

Burke, of Bovingdon, in Hemel Hempstead, was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay back £90 in compensation to the charity and a £15 victim surcharge.

The court heard, since the theft, and while serving a prison sentence for another offence, Burke completed numerous courses in drug and alcohol rehabilitation and in health and safety in the workplace.

Ms Fitzpatrick said: “This is not the same man today who stole the money.”