WHITLEY BAY, England, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A man who admitted stealing a tablet computer from a charity store and returning it eight days later because he couldn't get it to work was fined.
Christopher Hooson, 33, was recorded by CCTV cameras taking the Android tablet from the window display at the Jonny Kennedy store in Whitley Bay, England. Store workers recognized him from the footage when he came back eight days later to return the tablet, which prosecutors said he was unable to work because he did not have the necessary "equipment."
Prosecutor Lynne Russell said the tablet taken during the Nov. 11 theft was valued at about $78.
"He was taken to the police station. He admitted taking the item. He said he saw it in the window and thought it would be cheap or free, as it was in a charity shop, so took it," Russell said. "He took it and realized it didn't work without further equipment, so returned it to the shop."
Hooson initially told the court the theft was an accident.
"I didn't intend to steal it. I forgot I had it in my bag, so I returned it when I noticed."
Hooson, who admitted his version of events "sounds ridiculous," eventually admitted during questioning by District Judge Bernard Begley that his story was not true.
"It's not very nice to steal from a charity shop. At least some sense eventually returned to you and you returned the item. However, it is a particularly mean offense," Begley said.
Hooson was fined $117. He was also ordered to pay $132 in court costs and a $31 victim surcharge.