WEDNESDAY, JULY 25: A man who stole $17 worth of hot food from MarketPlace was today given a suspended sentence.

Abdullah Virgil, 43, pleaded guilty to stealing from the store on November 12.

The court heard Virgil went into the Church Street store at 12:30pm that day, took up food from the hot food section and walked out without paying.

The cashier saw him walk out and informed the manager who caught up with Virgil outside.

He was detained and arrested when police arrived.

Virgil was taken to the Hamilton Police Station where he admitted stealing the food.

The court heard he has previous, similar convictions.

Addressing the court, Virgil said he was hungry and needed to eat.

“Am I going to lie down and die from hunger, your worship?”

But Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner said: “I am tempted to impose a term of imprisonment, but that would be sentencing him on his record.

“And no one gets locked up for stealing $17 worth of food.

“I don’t think anyone would fault me for locking you up but that would be sentencing you on your record and I wouldn’t do that.”

Virgil was given a 30 day suspended sentence for 24 months.