Remorseful thief returns stolen charity cash

Emma Woollacott
Top Corner Sports
Top Corner Sports

A thief who stole from a collection box at a children's football academy returned the money with interest in a fit of remorse.

Darren Green, 30, went to Top Corner Sports in Middlesbrough to watch his nephew play football last month. But in "a moment of madness", he went into the bar area, which was closed, and stole a black cash box and the charity money.

But the next day, according to the Evening Gazette, Green had a change of heart and returned £150 to the academy.

"Clearly he's made a massive mistake. He recognises the error of his ways. He realised that almost immediately," Dominic Tate, defending, told Teeside Magistrates' Court.

"He went back later that night to try and rectify things. However it was the following day he then returned and repaid the money, with additional money also."

The offence was Green's 41st, but his first in over three years. He now works as an Avon representative and a volunteer for a local garage and is expecting a baby with his girlfriend.

"He does have a record but it has been a significant amount of time since he's troubled the courts," said Tate.

He has made positive steps in turning his life around. He's made a monumental error of judgment. He's shown extreme remorse."

Green was given a one-year community order with supervision and ordered to undertake 60 hours' unpaid work, and pay £100 costs.

""We do note that you are remorseful, that you made an early guilty plea and the money was repaid," noted magistrate Robert Birch. "On the other hand, Top Corner Sports is a community asset and therefore this is a crime against the community really, and we do have to take that into consideration."

Hearteningly, it's not all that unusual for thieves to be struck with remorse. Earlier this year, for example, a man robbed a petrol station in California, but returned just hours later to return the money and apologise.

But it sometimes takes a while for a thief's conscience to kick into action. This summer, the owner of a Cheshire pub was astonished to receive a £100 cheque and an apologetic letter from a woman who had burgled the building 20 years before.

"I think she's got a conscience and worried about this for a very long time and I hope she doesn't worry about it any more," commented landlady Frances Cunningham.

Thief Has Remorse, Confesses to TV Reporter in Massachusetts
Thief Has Remorse, Confesses to TV Reporter in Massachusetts

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