A Thornton Heath man has been given community service after raiding the till of a Morley’s chicken shop because he couldn’t get any money out of the next door cash point.

“Stupidity took over” as George Gent launched himself over the counter at Morley’s in Crystal Palace and hopefully “pressed all the buttons” on the till to open it, Croydon Magistrates Court heard today (Thursday, May 25).

The Thornton Heath man had been desperately trying to withdraw “his last £30” from a cash machine next to the chicken shop on Westow Hill on November 8 last year but the cash would not come out.

He pleaded guilty to burglary theft at the hearing  and was sentenced by Chair of the Bench Terry Carpenter, who said the theft was a “stupid thing to do”.

Gent was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the community, and told the court he wishes to apologise to those in the shop for launching himself over the counter – if they will let him back in.

He must also pay back the £180 he stole – and spent on food and travel – as well as court costs of £170.

His missing £30 was never recovered from the cash machine.

He raided the till of a chicken shop and frantically snatched cash after losing his temper with a faulty cash machine.

The then 21-year-old Gent, from Gilsland Road, became angry that he could not access his money and stormed into the shop at around 8.30pm, the court heard.

He had previously been in the shop to ask advice on how to get the machine to pay out.

Reasons given for his actions were that he was down to his last £30, which was given to him by his cousin.