Television chef Antony Worrall Thompson has been given a police caution after being caught shoplifting wine and cheese from Tesco. As reported on thedrinksbusiness.com, Worrall Thompson was filmed by staff at the supermarket in Henley-on-Thames failing to pay for goods at the self-scan check out machines on five shopping trips between 22 December and 6 January. Some items were scanned and paid for but others, understood to include cheeses from the deli and bottles of wine, were bagged without being put through the till.
Security staff installed a hidden camera after their suspicions about his behaviour were raised. He was stopped by security staff as he left the shop on Friday. Police were called and he was arrested on suspicion of theft. The 60-year-old chef was held at a local police station where his mug shot, fingerprints and DNA saliva swab were taken.
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: “We arrested a man from High Wycombe following a report of shoplifting offences. The man has been issued with a formal caution for these offences.” A person must admit an offence before they can be given a caution. Worrall Thompson said today: “I'm so sorry for all my recent stupid and irresponsible actions; I am of course devastated for my family and friends, whom I’ve let down and will seek the treatment that is clearly needed.
“I am not the first, and certainly won’t be the last person to do something without rhyme or reason – what went through my head, only time will tell. I must also apologise sincerely to Tesco, with whom I’m had a long and genuine working relationship, and to the staff at the Henley branch, many of whom I’ve got to know over the years. Once again, I am so sorry and hopefully in the future I can make amends.”
The chef has appeared on BBC’s Ready Steady Cook and ITV's I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. The Godson of actor Richard Burton, Worrall Thompson has a line of branded cookery utensils. In 2009 he was forced to close four of his six restaurants and make sixty staff redundant after his bank refused to extend his overdraft.