Homeless Asylum Seeker Was Shoplifting To Fund Drug Habit He Tells Court

PUBLISHED: 11:49 13 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 04 May 2010

A HOMELESS Iraqi asylum seeker who committed three shoplifting offences to fund his drug habit has been jailed for four months. Tarek Alesheri – who fled to the UK after members of his family were murdered – had consistently and persistently offended, s

A HOMELESS Iraqi asylum seeker who committed three shoplifting offences to fund his drug habit has been jailed for four months.

Tarek Alesheri - who fled to the UK after members of his family were murdered - had "consistently and persistently offended," said presiding magistrate at Ely courthouse, Hamish Ross.

Thirty-three-year-old Alesheri, who "sofa surfs" at the home of friends but gave an address in Churchgate Street, Soham, had 17 previous convictions for theft.

He was jailed after admitting that he stole a £117 digital camera from the Argos store in Ely on January 20, eight bottles of wine worth £30 from the Co-op at Soham on February 1, and two cans of lager from the One Stop shop in Ely five days later.

"These thefts were all impulsive and unsophisticated," said solicitor Lowri Roberts. She said Alesheri had left Iraq because his life was in danger, and the thefts had been committed to support his drug habit.

He had been drunk when he stole from Argos, and could not remember why he was in the store.


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