Former model denies stealing £1.70 gin and tonic, court hears

Noah Ponte, 21, denied theft at Wood Green Crown Court

Noah Ponte, 21, denied theft at Wood Green Crown Court - Credit: PA

A former model has denied stealing a can of gin and tonic from a Hampstead Tesco Express during a night out with the son of former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and the grandson of Ringo Starr, a court has heard. 

Noah Ponte, 21, was stopped by staff at the Heath Street store as he tried leaving the shop with the drink shortly before midnight on May 17 2019, jurors at Wood Green Crown Court heard on Thursday, March 31. 

The court was told that he took the drink despite being unable to scan it at a self-checkout machine, due to it being outside of the hours Tesco was licensed to sell alcohol. 

Ponte, a UCL student who has previously worked with IMG Models, had been out for a friend’s birthday with Gene Appleton, 20, the son of Liam Gallagher and All Saints member Nicole Appleton, and Sonny Starkey, 21, grandson of the Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr, prior to the incident, the jury heard. 

Ponte told the court that he had paid £1.70 for nuts, the same value of the drink, which he then left in the store as a way of getting around the licensing restriction. 

He said: “I would like to say sorry for and apologise for my quite daft way of paying for a drink.” 

He later added: “I thought that I wasn’t depriving Tesco of their payment through paying for nuts. 

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“I did not want to steal. It was quite a long and confusing way of paying, I will admit. 

“My intention was to get around licence law but not to steal.” 

Ponte said he had tried to explain what he had done to a security guard after being stopped but was “grabbed and dragged back into the shop”. 

He said: “I was beginning to explain how I had paid something of equivalent value but I didn’t get time to explain myself. 

“I was grabbed and dragged back into the shop.” 

“They began just pulling me around and trying to grab the receipt from my hands,” he added. 

The court heard he left the shop without any goods. 

Ponte was arrested shortly after the incident and held in a cell overnight before being interviewed by police the following day, the court heard. 

He denies a charge of theft. 

The trial continues.