Italian court: homeless man stealing food did no crime

Italy's top criminal court has ruled that a hungry homeless man who took a package of hot dogs from a supermarket committed no crime.

The man had been about to leave the store after paying for breadsticks but not for the hot dogs and some cheese he had in his pocket. He was convicted of theft, and sentenced by a lower court in Genoa to six months in prison and a 100-eur (£$115) fine.

The Rome-based Cassation Court on Monday ruled that man was driven by necessity to take a small quantity of food.

A columnist in Turin newspaper La Stampa wrote Tuesday the high court's ruling "reminds everyone that in a civilized country not even the worst of men can die of hunger."