A MAN caught shoplifting said he was offending to survive.

Blackburn magistrates heard Martin McAllister was no longer using drugs but was struggling to manage on his Universal Credit.

But the magistrates jailed him for eight weeks after hearing he was already subject to two community orders and post sentence supervision.

McAllister, 35, of Hanson Street, Great Harwood, pleaded guilty to stealing two candles worth £56 from Boots. He was jailed for eight weeks and ordered to pay £56 compensation on release.

Imposing an immediate prison sentence the chairman of the magistrates said McAllister was a persistent offender who was not engaging with non-custodial sentences.

Gareth Price, defending, said his client had been living in hostel accommodation but took the first opportunity to get his own tenancy to get him away from negative influences.

"This offence was not down to drugs or anything like that but purely down to financial problems," said Mr Price.

"He was on Universal Credit and was struggling to make ends meet."