A DRUNKEN thief stole keys from a Hereford cafe and threw them in a bin in a game of dare, a court has heard.

Ashley White admitted one count of theft when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford.

"This is a rather strange set of circumstances," prosecutor Mark Hambling told the court.

White had been out drinking in Hereford on April 21 when he spotted a bunch of keys in a door at the Coffee Cart in Hereford's High Town and took them, Mr Hambling said.

It was later realised that the keys were missing, and a search of CCTV showed White taking them. He was identified from the footage by police and spoken to in a voluntary interview, during which he admitted taking the keys and dropping them in a bin, telling officers he had "felt like a bit of a magpie and could not resist" at the time.

The cafe owner said the missing keys had caused them problems and that it had cost £500 to replace the locks that the seven keys on the stolen bunch had opened.

The court heard that White is currently subject to a community order imposed three days after the theft for a separate offence.


Emily Gourley, for White, said the 31-year-old had been very frank with police.

"In interview some weeks later he made full admissions," Mrs Gourley said.

"He is embarrassed when you speak to him. He was drunk and with friends and it was a bit of a dare. He grabbed the keys, walked down the street, and put them in the bin. There was no malice."

The court heard White currently works two days a week for Zoom.

White, of Belmont Road, Hereford, was ordered to pay compensation of £350 and must pay costs of £50.