Burnley teen thief stole taxi driver's money bag

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A teen thief who helped himself to a taxi driver’s bag of £30 change, fled and hid in an attic, a court heard.

Leighton Murgatroyd, who also ducked his £10 taxi fare, was said to be hard-up as his benefits had been sanctioned.

Burnley magistrates were told how the 18-year-old had never been in trouble before the “opportunistic” theft.

Mrs Alex Mann (prosecuting) said the bag was taken from the centre console of the cab. Police went to a house and found the defendant in an attic. They recovered the cash.

She added: "This is out of character for the defendant. He has no previous convictions."

Miss Catherine Fell (defending) told the hearing Murgatroyd, currently sofa surfing, fully admitted both offences in interview.

"Somebody else called the taxi. He got in, knowing he couldn’t pay. He accepted he got the cash bag out of the taxi and ran off, she said."

"He was claiming Universal Credit, but had been sanctioned and was not receiving any money.”

The defendant, of no fixed address, admitted theft from the person of another and making off without payment, last December 28th.

He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and must pay £85 costs, a £21 victim surcharge and £10 compensation.