Italian court rules food theft ‘not a crime’ if hungry

Judges overturned a theft conviction against Roman Ostriakov after he stole cheese and sausages worth €4.07 (£3; $4.50) from a supermarket.

Mr Ostriakov, a homeless man of Ukrainian background, had taken the food “in the face of the immediate and essential need for nourishment”, the court of cassation decided.

In times of economic hardship, the court of cassation’s judgement “reminds everyone that in a civilized country not even the worst of men should starve”. Therefore it was not a crime, it said.

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