A SHOP thief went back again and again because he was getting away with it.

Blackburn magistrates heard Andrew Martin went through the self check out at Asda and walked out with £50 worth of goods.

And he returned twice the following day and tried to repeat the performance.

Martin, 42, of Great Bolton Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to three charges of theft from a shop. He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement and a six months alcohol treatment order. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation, £85 costs and £85 victim surcharge.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said on the first occasion Martin put his card in the self check out but the transaction was not complete and he walked out with his "purchases."

"He did the same the next day at 7.25 am and returned at 8.55 pm and repeated the offence," said Mrs Yates. "On this occasion he was detained by security staff."

Neil Howard, defending, said his client realised nothing had come off his card and returned the next day.

He said alcohol was taken on all occasions and that was his client's problem.

"Since this incident he has attended the funerals of two friends who died due to alcohol related issues and on Monday he lost another friend due to substance misuse," said Mr Howard. "He realises that if he carries on drinking he will end up dying like his friends."