A MAN who queued up to pay for a can of lager stole it when the assistant refused to sell it to him because he was drunk.

Blackburn magistrates heard police were called over the theft and were still there when Shazad Rahman returned to the store an hour after his first visit.

Rahman, 44, of Bolton Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to theft of a can of lager worth £1.49 from Food Plus in Burnley and possession of cannabis. He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months, fined £80 with £32 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £1.49 compensation.

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said the shop assistant had seen Rahman enter the shop, take the can from the fridge and stand in the queue to pay.

"She would not serve him because he was drunk and suggested he took it back to the fridge," said Miss Akhtar.

"Instead he left the store and when he was arrested later a small amount of cannabis was found in his sock."

Mark Williams, defending, said Rahman had been drinking with a friend and decided to buy a can of lager for the journey back to Blackburn.

"He had some money and joined the queue to pay," said Mr Williams. "He had every intention of paying for the can but was told he couldn't."

Mr Williams said Rahman was detained by police at the same store an hour later.

"I asked him why he went back and he doesn't know whether he went back to pay or apologise or both," said Mr Williams.