Man used old reduced-price stickers at Asda self-checkout to commit £800 fraud

A sly shopper saved himself £800 by using old reduced price stickers to slash the price of his groceries, a court heard.

Robert Byrne, 36, got a “buzz” out of fiddling the cost of items at the self-service tills in Asda.

The sales administrator got away with it three times but later asked for 41 other similar offences to be taken into account.

Solicitor Ruth Johnson, representing Byrne, told magistrates her client was not committing the repeated offences through a lack of means.

She said: “He doesn’t have any vices – he doesn’t smoke, drink or gamble. It gave him a buzz.

“Sometimes he would have bread and milk and he would still put a reduced sticker through, so sometimes it was a matter of pence.”

Prosecutor Nicola Pope said security officers at the store in Swaffham, Norfolk became suspicious of Byrne’s scanning activity at one particular till.

Police went to his home in Castle Acre, Norfolk and found a bank card used in the transactions and some Asda labels stuck on pieces of card in his wallet.

Miss Pope said: “He said in interview that he was scanning the reduced dairy items. He was ‘trying his luck’.”

He told officers he had not done anything like it since because he was so ashamed of acting in that way while a child was with him.

The court was told that the child was unaware of what Byrne was doing.

Appearing before magistrates in King’s Lynn, Norfolk on Monday, Byrne pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation on June 12 and July 26.

The other offences took place between January and May this year.

Miss Johnson said her client felt a level of shame and humiliation that would put him off doing anything similar again.

For each of the three offences, whose value came to approximately £60, Byrne was given 150 hours’ unpaid work, to run concurrently.

He was also ordered to pay £800 compensation, £85 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.


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