A PROLIFIC crook almost ended up back behind bars because he stole best Marks and Spencer steaks for his beloved dog.

Burnley Crown Court heard how jobless heroin addict Steven Lumb, 56, had had his benefits reduced and the dog had no food.

He stole three steaks, worth £18, from the Burnley branch of the store on July 16.

Lumb of Church Street, Stacksteads, had earlier admitted theft before Pennine magistrates and had been committed to Burnley Crown Court for sentence, as he struck while subject to a crown court suspended sentence. It had been imposed after he tried to raid a Stacksteads house in the early hours while drunk and fell down the steps trying to escape.

Lumb, who has been breaking the law for more than 40 years, was seen lying in the householder's garden.

Lumb has more than 160 offences to his name in a 19-page criminal record, including a history of breaking into houses. The first offence he committed, in 1970, was burglary.

The defendant had admitted attempted burglary at a house on Huttock End Lane, committed last November 28. Lumb was given 12 months in prison, suspended for a year, with 12 months supervision, in March.

Judge Simon Newell, sentencing him for the steak theft, said: “Nobody wants to send you to prison for something like that, but if you carry on doing it, that's what's going to happen. You've got to take this as a warning.”

The judge extended the operational period of the suspended sentence, which included a drugs rehabilitation requirement, to 15 months, until next June.

He gave the defendant a concurrent six month supervision order for the theft.