A SHOPKEEPER who left his store for 90 seconds returned to find a customer stealing from him.

Blackburn magistrates heard Colm Gerrard Martin was leaving the store with three bottles of whiskey and a quantity of lottery scratch cards and was detained by the owner.

Martin, 32, of Primrose Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to burglary at Kus News and Wine and theft of property of a value unknown.

He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement and 40 hours unpaid work, ordered to pay £50 compensation, £85 costs and £30 victim surcharge.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said at about 9.45pm on June 13 the owner asked a female customer to keep an eye on things while he nipped across the road on an errand.

"He was away for 90 seconds and as he was returning she shouted and pointed at the defendant who was walking away," said Mrs Yates.

After he was detained the shop CCTV was viewed which showed Martin going behind the counter and stealing the spirits and scratch cards.

Richard Prew, defending, said his client, who was known by the shopkeeper, had been drinking all day.

"He was just walking in as the owner was walking out and unfortunately took the opportunity to go round the back of the counter and steal the items," said Mr Prew.