A THIEF who was given a chance by magistrates on Tuesday broke into a Blackburn town centre pub the following day and stole charity boxes.

But Blackburn magistrates gave Anthony Robert Eden another chance when he appeared before them for the second time in the space of four days.

"We want to try and help you today," the chairman told Eden.

"We could send you to custody today but we are stepping back from that and we are going to give you another chance."

Eden, 39, of Shadsworth House, Dunoon Drive, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to burglary at the Postal Order and theft of charity boxes of a value unknown.

He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 10 days' rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay £50 compensation.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said when Eden was given a conditional discharge on Tuesday for three offences of shoplifting he was already subject to a conditional discharge and a community order.

At 4.16 am on Wednesday the alarm was activated at the JD Wetherspoon pub on Darwen Street.

The key holder discovered a window had been smashed to gain entry and three charity boxes had been stolen. Eden was identified from CCTV footage inside the pub.

Michael Flynn, defending, said Eden had had a significant problem with drugs for the majority of his life.

His mother died in March and he had relapsed into using heroin and spice.

"That has had a significant impact on his mental health," said Mr Flynn.

"He hears voices and has suicidal tendencies."