A serial shoplifter was in front of us. Single mother, four children under 6 years old. 125 previous convictions, most of which were for like offences.
She pleaded guilty so we adjourned the case for reports, although there is little doubt of the outcome as she is on a suspended sentence for the same thing.
In mitigation she put forward a powerful and persuasive argument. The problem she told us was the national Lottery.
In explanation she pointed out that, in common with others, she was disgusted that they should have increased the price of the tickets by 100%, thereby doubling her weekly investment... to Â£80. Apparently this gave her good reason to steal so that she could put food in her children's mouths. Clearly, the National Lottery have absolutely no sense of responsibility.
Analyse that. She now spends Â£320+ per month on lottery tickets. She lives on benefits. She is forced to steal to feed her poor starving children. Pardon me for reacting in an unsympathetic, indeed downright negative manner. I'm on, for my local area, a darned good salary but I couldn't possibly justify that sort of money on lottery tickets. Mind you, I suppose I could if I augmented my income by shoplifting.
I wonder. If she wins the lottery will she give me a share. After all, it's me and millions like me who are paying for her lottery tickets.