May 4, 2016 11:07 AM EDT

An Italian court has ruled that a homeless man did not commit a crime when he attempted to steal cheese and sausage from a supermarket.

Judges from the court of cassation, which reviews the interpretation of law rather than the facts of a case, found that the “right to survival prevails over property,” the BBC reports. Since the man had “an immediate and essential need for nourishment,” he was “acting … in a state of necessity.”

The man, Roman Ostriakov, was sentenced to six months in jail and a fine of €100 ($115) last year. The value of the food he attempted to steal was less than $5.


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