A RECOVERING drug addict stole handbags from women because he was homeless and short of money, a court heard.
David Standing, of Broadwater Road, stole a handbag containing £90 in cash from a woman who was playing on slot machines in the Gala Bingo, in Rowlands Road, on October 7.
At Worthing Magistrates’ Court it was heard Standing, 42, took the bag, which, combined with the money, was worth £130, after hiding it underneath a sheet of grey material he had draped over his arm.
Police later arrested Standing after he was identified on CCTV.
After being released by police on bail, Standing stole another purse from a mother who was shopping with her two children at Poundland, in Montague Street, on November 20.
He stole the purse after the woman bent down to pick up something her child had dropped, and was caught moments later when a shopper who witnessed the theft chased after him and found him in a nearby stairway.
Matt Baines, for Standing, said his client had been homeless at the time of the thefts, was battling a drug addiction, and had been in need of money.
He said Standing had told him he had not taken drugs since his last arrest.
Standing pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and being in breach of his bail and was ordered to pay £130 compensation to the woman whose purse was stolen in Gala Bingo and £15 to the woman whose purse was stolen in Poundland.
He was given a 12-month community order, which includes a drug rehabilitation requirement programme, and a nine-month supervision order.