A MAN who had been out of trouble for over six years turned to alcohol when he became depressed.

Blackburn magistrates heard Kevin Cragg went “downhill” rapidly and ended up committing a string of offences of which he was deeply ashamed.

Cragg, 43, of Rosegrove Lane, Burnley, pleaded guilty to theft of a mobile phone and bank cards belonging to Stephen Smith, three fraud offences involving use of the cards and two offences of shoplifting from Boots. He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement and made subject to a curfew for six weeks between 7pm and 7am. He was ordered to pay £419 compensation to Mr Smith.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, prosecuting, said Mr Smith had been on a night out and had used his bank card, which he kept in his phone cover, to withdraw cash.

By the time he realised it was missing the contactless card had been used three times at local shops.

One of the thefts from Boots was on January 2 and when Cragg went in again the following day he was recognised from CCTV footage and detained until the police arrived.

Cragg told police he had found the phone in the street and had used the card which was in the phone case. He said when he had used the card he threw everything in a bin.

Catherine Fell, defending, said Cragg had been working as a self-employed roofer and doing well until six weeks ago.

“He accepts he has gone downhill in those six weeks,” said Miss Fell. “He hasn’t been in trouble for six years but in recent weeks has struggled with depression.”

District Judge James Clarke said he was aware Cragg appeared to have gone off the rails.

“I don’t want you to return to old ways and hopefully the assistance of the probation service will help with that,” he said.