Handyman from Romford faces trial for alleged theft of tea and biscuits

A HANDYMAN has been put on trial for helping himself to tea and biscuits worth �24 from a care home.

Jeffery Dainty, 61, of Pettits Boulevard, Romford, is said to have stuffed the items into a bin bag at St Ives Lodge in Chingford, east London.

Prosecutor Jai Patel told jurors: ‘The property in question is food items - to be exact, biscuits, tea bags and coffee - all together coming to some �23.99.

“That might not sound like a lot of money to a lot of people but that does not make it a trivial case.”

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard Dainty was spotted exiting the kitchens at the old folk’s home clutching a bin bag on January 4 this year.

“In short, members of the jury, Mr Dainty was working as a maintenance employee at the St Ives residential care home,” said Mr Patel.

“He was seen in the kitchen area.

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“He was seen walking out of the kitchen door with a bin bag.

“That aroused the suspicion of members of staff.”

A duty manager tracked Dainty’s movements and even inspected the bins to see if he had disposed of the bag, the court heard.

“The member of staff went to check the bins and didn’t see any bin bags in any of the bins,” said Mr Patel.

“When he returned, Mr Dainty was asked whether he had stolen any property and he said that he had not.”

The manager later returned to the refuse area and found a bin liner containing the items from the kitchen, the court heard.

Mr Patel said Dainty had intended to pinch the tea and biscuits but dumped them in the bin after he was confronted by the manager.

“Mr Dainty was trying to steal that property in the bin bag and he was going to his car to put the items in his car,” said the barrister.

“But having been challenged, he had returned to the bins to make it look like he had not stolen any property.”

Dainty was immediately suspended from his position and later arrested, the court heard.

The home advertised his job just two days after the incident before formerly sacking him after a disciplinary hearing months later.

Dainty denied stealing the tea and biscuits and said he had merely been taking rubbish out, the court heard.

“He said it was part of his job to take out bin bags and that was what he was doing on this occasion,” said Mr Patel.

Dainty denies theft.

The trial continues.