A man stole a housing officer’s phone and then threw it onto the roof of a council building when he realised he couldn’t sell it.
John McDonagh’s own solicitor labelled the 25-year-old’s actions as “stupid”.
McDonagh then found himself more than £200 out of pocket after Kirklees magistrates ordered him to pay compensation to his victim.
The incident happened at Civic Centre 3 in Huddersfield on August 7.
McDonagh, of Bishops Court in Berry Brow, went into the building to see housing officer Patty Jennings.
During the appointment the mobile phone in her desk drawer started ringing and she took it out.
Ms Jennings then put the phone back and left her desk after the appointment with McDonagh ended.
While she was away from the desk he returned and took her phone.
CCTV footage showed the theft taking place and McDonagh was arrested.
Vanessa Jones, prosecuting, said: “When he took it he realised he would not be able to sell it because there were certain applications on it.
“He told police he threw it on top of the Civic Centre roof.”
Neil Murphy, mitigating, said that his client had experienced difficulty with his benefits and getting a house.
He added that McDonagh was upset after the housing officer told him that there were no properties available.
Mr Murphy said: “He’s hardly a criminal mastermind.
“This is a stupid offence, the Civic Centre is CCTVd up to the hilt.”
Magistrates gave McDonagh an eight-week curfew at his father’s Sheepridge home as punishment.
He must also pay £200 compensation to Ms Jennings and £60 victim surcharge.