A stunned drinker has been banned from his social club – for ‘stealing’ two cheese and pineapple cocktail sticks.
Peckish Steve Prickett, 60, spotted the finger food which had been left behind after an engagement party as he played pool.
He sneaked into the function room and snaffled a couple of sticks and carried on with his game.
But an irate member of staff confronted him and accused him of theft and stunned Steve was summonsed to a disciplinary hearing.
He offered to pay #10 for the food – and was accused of attempted bribery by officials at the Mount Charles Social Club in St Austell, Cornwall.
Steve, a member for seven years, then found himself expelled after a 15-minute hearing with the club’s committee board for his “totally unacceptable” behaviour.
The dad-of-two said: “On the table there were remnants of food that had been eaten at the function.
“To be honest there were a couple of cheese and pineapple on cocktail sticks left over and in a passing fancy I picked them up and ate them.
“Often with these Friday functions the custom is that any leftover food is passed around to members. I thought nothing more of it.
“A few minutes later I was playing pool when I got a tap on the shoulder by a member of the committee.
“He then stated that I had been reported for stealing food. I was completely shocked.”
Steve says he offered the staff member a tenner as compensation – but the official refused, accusing him of bribery.
After several days he was called to face the club’s all-powerful committee board.
Steve, whose son and daughter are also members, said: “They read out the charge just like a courtroom and asked me to explain myself.
“I was asked to leave the room when they made the decision. After a 15 minute delay I was called back in and told I was being expelled with immediate effect.
“I was by now extremely shocked, embarrassed and dismayed by the decision.”
Mount Charles secretary Keith Usher said Steve was fortunate the police weren’t called.
He said: “It was a private function and Mr Prickett entered via an authorised entry and he stole food from an engagement party which he had no entitlement to take.
“Mr Prickett was lucky we didn’t get the police involved.”