Man Robs Former Employer To Convince Wife He's Still Working, Police Say

Martyn Goddard arrested unemployment stealing

In the movie "Tokyo Sonata," a midlevel manager loses his job, but too ashamed to tell his family, hides the fact by waking up every morning, putting on a suit and going to job interviews instead. In the real life story of Martyn Goddard, a discount store worker loses his job, but too ashamed to tell his family, robs the discount store that laid him off, according to authorities.

"His wife had been badgering him for a couple weeks as to why he had no money," said the prosecuting attorney, Sonal Ahya, in Britain's The Telegraph newspaper. "He spent the previous evening at her house and said that he was going to see his employer about wages owed to him."

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Goddard, 48, had lost his job at the store in Swadlincote, in northern England, just a few weeks before. In that time, he had been evicted from his apartment, said The Telegraph, and was sleeping in his car. But in the hope of persuading his wife that he was still working, he returned to the store, held out a knife, and demanded that the worker open the safe. He allegedly grunted his demand so that no one would recognize his voice, and left with 9,000 pounds ($14,150).

More: How I Survived Nearly 2 Years Of Unemployment

Goddard returned to his wife and gave her 200 pounds, saying it was back pay, then he spent 90 pounds to book a party for his son, the newspaper reported,

In court, Goddard admitted to the robbery and was sentenced to four years in jail.

Just two weeks ago, a Pennsylvania man was arrested for a string of robberies. Police in that case say that the man explained that he's been unemployed since 2009.

"Plenty of people get their lives in a mess one way or another," the judge reportedly told Goddard. "What you did was completely disproportionate to the situation you found yourself in."


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Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at claire.gordon@teamaol.com. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.

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kcw0809

It's other people's business if one is taking drugs so they are not really interested in getting a job where they cannot take drugs...and the persons in question are taking public money to continue this existence.

May 29 2013 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dotlhs56

I understand that it is not easy to get another job but why do people think they should just take what they want instead of work for it? Job insurance until you can find another job or any menial job you can get until you can do better. There is no shame in it and use the money wisely not for things you do not need.

February 04 2013 at 6:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Hey, John Boy

Are these guys stupid??? If we have to pay people who are not working, we can also make sure they are not using our tax dollars to buy drugs or booze which keep them out of the work force....I had to take a drug test to get my jobs so why shouldn't they have to take one to receive my tax dollars....DRUG TEST ! ! ! ! OR NO MONEY ! ! ! !

February 04 2013 at 5:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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