Stealing food out of hunger not a crime (2)

Italy supreme court overturns four-euro theft conviction

(ANSA) - Rome, May 2 - Stealing food out of hunger is not a crime, Italy's highest Cassation Court ruled Monday. In this way the judges overturned a 2015 conviction for theft against Roman Ostriakov, a homeless man who stole four euros' worth of cheese and hot dogs at the supermarket. Stealing small quantities of food to fulfill "the essential need for nourishment does not constitute a crime", the court wrote.
    Ostriakov was stopped on his way out of the supermarket with the cheese and dogs in his pocket after a customer noticed he only paid for some breadsticks, reported him to management.
    "The condition of the defendant and the circumstances in which the merchandise theft took place prove that he took possession of that small amount of food in the face of the immediate and essential need for nourishment, acting therefore in a state of need," wrote the court.


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