Italy’s highest court of appeal has ruled that stealing small amounts of food to stave off hunger is not a crime .
Judges in the country reportedly overturned a theft conviction against Roman Ostriakov after he stole cheese and sausages worth €4.07 (£3; $4.50) from a supermarket.
The court of cassation decided that Ostriakov, a homeless man of Ukrainian background, had taken the food “in the face of the immediate and essential need for nourishment”. Therefore it was not a crime.
Meanwhile, a fellow customer informed the store’s security in 2011, when Ostriakov attempted to leave a Genoa supermarket with two pieces of cheese and a packet of sausages in his pocket but paid only for breadsticks.
Reports say In 2015, Ostriakov was convicted of theft and sentenced to six months in jail and a €100 fine.