A MAN who had “turned his life around” blotted his copybook when he had a problem with his benefits.

Blackburn magistrates heard Jason Karl Harrison turned back to shoplifting to make ends meet after committing only one other offence in the last five years.

Harrison, 51, of Water Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to stealing aftershave worth £86 from TK Maxx in Colne on February 24 and Lynx deodorant worth £50 from Poundland in Colne the next day. He was fined £80 with £85 costs and £32 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £86 compensation to TK Maxx.

Sajeeda Ismail, prosecuting, said the theft from TK Maxx was captured on CCTV. The following day police were alerted to a theft from Poundland and found Harrison nearby carrying a large bag containing 25 cans of Lynx.

John Rusius, defending, said his client had an unenviable record but there had been just one offence since 2015.

“He really has turned his life around,” said Mr Rusius. “There has been one offence in the last five years until these two and he was honest with the police when he said there were problems with his benefits and he had no gas, electricity or food.”

Mr Rusius said the offences had been committed six months ago and his client, with his benefits back in place, had kept out of trouble throughout that time.

“It is very difficult to change when you have a record like his and I hope you will give him credit for that,” said Mr Rusius.