A MAN who was known to petrol station staff as 'friendly and chatty' shocked them by making off without paying for his fuel.

Paul Andrew Rhodes, 28, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to four charges of making off without payment.

He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £100 compensation to Burnley's Trafalgar Street petrol station.

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Catherine Fell, defending, said her client had served a prison sentence since the commission of the offences.

"At the time he was in a bad place," said Miss Fell.

"He was suffering from depression, didn't have anywhere to live and his business as a plumbing and heating engineer was suffering as a result. He is now looking to rebuild his life, starting by finding somewhere to live."