FORMER Coronation Street star Adam Rickitt has admitted shoplifting a block of cheese, a bottle of HP Sauce and a jar of coffee – but says it was an ‘honest mistake’.
Mr Rickitt, from Cuddington, gave up his fight to become Conservative MP for Chester when he decided to continue playing Kieran Mitchell in New Zealand soap Shortland Street.
In a tearful confession, the celebrity told the New Zealand Herald he was ‘so stressed out’ he failed to pay when leaving an Auckland supermarket.
It resulted in a trip to the Henderson police station, escorted by officers. Mr Rickitt now expects to appear in court and face charges over the incident.
Mr Rickitt, 29, who has three older brothers – Tim and Sam, director and associate director of Chester-based Savills estate agents, and Mark, who works behind the scenes in the film industry – plays a serial murder suspect and bar owner in the long-running Kiwi soap.
The Herald on Sunday visited Mr Rickitt’s west Auckland home and found the actor clearly distressed.
‘I have recently found out some very upsetting family news,’ Mr Rickitt said. ‘I was feeling helpless to deal with it because of the distance.
‘I was so stressed out that without realising, or thinking, during my weekly shop of $200, I failed to pay at the checkout for a jar of coffee, bottle of HP sauce and cheese.’
Tears were said to have rolled down Mr Rickitt’s face as he apologised for his indiscretion. He would not give details of the family news, but said it put him under considerable emotional stress.
‘But my actions were without malicious intent. I wasn’t thinking straight at that moment. I can’t apologise enough for what was a very embarrassing and uncharacteristic moment of stupidity.
‘It was an honest mistake and I’m so sorry for any inconvenience that it has caused,’ Mr Rickitt added.
A police spokesman would not confirm whether anyone was charged with shoplifting at the police station on Friday. Mr Rickitt said he was taken to the station and believed he would end up in court.
‘Whether you’re stealing a car, or a thimble there is a protocol you have to follow,’ he said. ‘I’m submitting to that with a great deal of embarrassment. But I’m more than happy and willing to bring it to a quick conclusion.’
After the incident, Mr Rickitt admitted everything to his employers, who are supporting their favourite new star in light of his family drama.
‘The police were very nice at the time,’ Mr Rickitt said. ‘They (police) said, ‘Don't worry. It’s not like we are going to put you out and hang you. We realise it’s just a mistake but there is protocol we have to follow’.’