Theft of £18 aquarium pump from Barnstaple shop lands 26-year-old man owing the court nearly £300.

An Ilfracombe man stole an aquarium pump from a shop in Barnstaple becase ‘he thought his girlfriend would like it and he didn’t want to pay for it’.

David Stephenson, 26, of Regency Court, Church Street, was spotted along with his friend by a member of staff at BJ’s Value House ‘acting suspiciously’ on the afternoon of May 22.

He admitted the theft of the £18 pump which was discovered by staff in his rucksack.

Stephenson appeared before magistrates on Friday after failing to pay a fixed penalty notice on time.

Rod Ball, defending, said Stephenson had been unemployed at the time but had now found a job he hoped to stay in ‘for some considerable time’.

He said at the time of the theft Stephenson had ‘a lot of time on his hands’ and thought his girlfriend might like the pump for her goldfish.

The pump was returned to the store and no compensation was sought.

Magistrates ordered him to pay a £100 fine, as well as court costs totalling £190.