5-speed listening (Level 6)

Stealing food is not a crime, says Italian court



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)



Try  Level 4  |  Level 5

See a sample

This useful resource has hundreds of ideas, activity templates, reproducible activities for …

  • warm-ups
  • pre-reading and listening
  • while-reading and listening
  • post-reading and listening
  • using headlines
  • working with words
  • moving from text to speech
  • role plays,
  • task-based activities
  • discussions and debates
and a whole lot more.

More Listening

20 Questions  |  Spelling  |  Dictation


An Italian court has ruled that food theft brought about by hunger is not illegal. Italy's highest court of appeal, the Supreme Court of Cassation, threw out the conviction of a homeless Ukrainian man, Roman Ostriakov, who was sentenced to six months in jail for stealing cheese and a sausage worth $4.50. Mr Ostriakov was also fined $115 by the trial court. His lawyers initially appealed for a reduction in that fine and were surprised when the whole conviction was quashed. The court said Mr Ostriakov taking the food, "does not constitute a crime" because he stole a small amount of food out of desperation. The court of appeal ruled that stealing small amounts of food to stave off hunger is not a crime.

Many people hope Mr Ostriakov’s case will highlight the extent of poverty and homelessness in Italy. They also believe the ruling may mean other hungry people who are arrested for shoplifting will not be convicted. Criminal lawyer Maurizio Bellacosa said the Ostriakov case, "is a new principle, and it might lead to a more frequent application of the state of necessity linked to poverty situations". The court ruled in a statement that: "People should not be punished if, forced by need, they steal small quantities of food in order to meet the basic requirement of feeding themselves." Italy's La Stampa newspaper said: "The court's decision reminds us all that in a civilised country, no one should be allowed to die of hunger."

Easier Levels

Try easier levels. The listening is a little shorter, with less vocabulary.

Level 4  |  Level 5

All Levels

This page has all the levels, listening and reading for this lesson.

← Back to the food theft  lesson.

Online Activities

Help Support This Web Site

  • Please consider helping Breaking News English.com

Sean Banville's Book

Thank You