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In Italy, It’s Not A Crime To Steal Food If You’re Poor and Hungry


We’ve all had the end of the month blues after going on one or two many nights out after last payday, and now you’ve got to wait until your next cheque until you can eat properly again. You start salivating as you walk past local eateries not daring to step inside, knowing that the only thing you can afford is the sad bowl of maggi waiting for you at home.

Well one man in Italy was facing a similar problem, although there was no bowl of maggi waiting for him at home. Finding himself in a dire situation, Roman Ostriakov, a Ukrainian national, went to the supermarket a slipped about 4 euros worth of sausage and cheese into his pockets. He almost got away with it until an ostensible ‘good Samaritan’ pointed him out to staff.

Featured Image Hyatt Event Italian-01

Not only did Ostriakov lose his meat and cheese, he was also slapped with a six-month prison sentence and a 100 euro fine. Same old story, right? Well, we’re not quite done here. Since Ostriakov had been stopped before actually leaving the supermarket, and therefore actually committing the burglary, the sentence was appealed.

However, the Italian courts went one step further. Not only was Ostriakov acquitted, but the court also ruled that he “could not live without feeding himself, so acted out of necessity.” Essentially, the Italian High Court has decided that it is not a crime for starving poor people to steal small amounts of food in order to survive.


This ruling is also good news for taxpayers who will no longer have to bankroll lengthy and costly court proceedings over a few bucks of meat and cheese that probably went bad in the evidence room anyway.