A MAN who stole a bucket being used during fundraising efforts by a teenager has been fined.

Robert Liddle, 38, of Medomsley Road, Consett, took the bucket from B&M Bargains in December.

Chloe Koegan, 15, was taking part in a charity bag pack at the time of the incident, but kind-hearted police officers in Consett had a whip round for her when they heard what had happened.

Liddle appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to one count of theft, on the basis that only a bucket was taken.

He was fined £158 and ordered to hand over £85 in court costs and a £30 victim surcharge fee.

Katy Keogan, the victim’s mother, said: “We are so pleased that the thief was identified so quickly and finally admitted his guilt.

“We would like to thank everyone involved in the whole process.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support and generosity of both Consett police and the community who have supported my daughter.

“What began as a negative experience has demonstrated that there are some amazing people in our local area who have gone above and beyond to help out.

“Through hard work, persistence and determination, my daughter has almost reached her fundraising target. We are very proud of what she has achieved.”

Chloe, from Witton Gilbert, a member of Framwellgate Scouts group, hopes to travel to West Virgina to visit the World Scouts Jamboree in July with the money raised.

PC John Gordon said: “We are pleased that the offender has been brought to account for his actions at court.

“We all hope that Chloe has the trip of a lifetime this summer.”

An earlier version of this article said Liddle had been fined for stealing cash. We are happy to make clear he pleaded guilty to theft on the basis that the bucket contained no money, and was taken inadvertently. The original information was supplied to The Northern Echo and used in good faith.