A FATHER stole two turkeys from a Chester supermarket to feed his children on Christmas Day, a court heard.

Kevin Thomas Patrick Wallace, 53, stuffed the frozen birds under his arms and brazenly walked out of Iceland on December 11.

Chester Magistrates Court heard he had been struggling financially since his partner was jailed last year but he dearly wanted to cook up a festive meal for his children, aged 16 and 17.

Wallace, of Lyon Street, Newtown, Chester, pleaded guilty to theft and was fined £40. He was also ordered to pay Iceland £20 in compensation as the turkey joints were never recovered.

Mark Evans, defending, said: “Christmas is obviously a wonderful time for the majority of us but it's easy to forget that for people with financial difficulties it's a time of great pressure and anxiety.

“He did this because he wanted to give the kids Christmas dinner. It was a moment of madness.”

The court heard that Wallace has 80 previous convictions for 153 offences, but Mr Evans stressed he had barely offended in 2017.

It was only the imprisonment of his partner and being left to look after the two children that led him to turn to shop-lifting again.

A customer at the Frodsham Street store alerted staff and subsequent analysis of CCTV footage clearly showed Wallace stealing the frozen meat.

“This was an unsophisticated crime,” Mr Evans said. “He just put the turkey joints under his arms and was always going to be caught. He apologises to the court, to the store and to the police.”

In police interview Wallace described his actions as a “moment of madness” while he was walking past the supermarket.

Besides the fine and compensation, he must also pay £85 in court costs and a £30 victim surcharge.