Butcher fined for selling stolen meat

24 June, 2008

A Sussex butcher has been fined after admitting to buying and selling stolen meat through his business.

According to local press, Mark Chacksfield, who runs The Village Butcher shop in Robertsbridge, said that he bought the stolen goods from a man who approached him in his shop.

The court heard that meat worth nearly £1,800 had been stolen from a depot owned by F & P Meats, in a period between last November and the end of March this year.

Prosecutor Alison May said: "The aggrieved reported to police officers that meat was going missing from his business. Enquiries and spot searches revealed items had been sold on. Some were recovered.

"This defendant runs The Village Butcher shop in Robertsbridge and was interviewed by officers. He told them he had bought meat by a man driving a van, who came into his shop and offered it to him for a good price. The defendant said to police he knew it was 'hookie' or stolen.

"In a later interview, he said he bought the meat over a period of time and, on each occasion, purchased up to £300-worth before selling it at a profit."

In defence, Sam Wingfield said: "The defendant was approached by this man and thought it was a chance to make a bit of money. He came in several times and the defendant asked him not to return.He has helped police with their investigations and given the name of the man and other locations he sold meat to.

"The defendant has been a butcher since he was 16 and owns his own shop. At no point were the public at risk from the meat being sold.

"He is extremely sorry and says it is the worst mistake he has ever made."

Chacksfield, who appeared in Hastings magistrates court on Thursday, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and was fined £1,000. Magistrates also ordered him to pay £1,783 compensation and £60 costs.

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