SECURITY staff detained a man who tried to leave their shop without paying for 49 bars of chocolate.

Blackburn magistrates heard Usman Anwar intended to sell the confectionery to buy drugs.

Anwar, 30, of Godley Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to theft from Aldi on Montague Street, Blackburn. He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £22 victim surcharge.

Gareth Price, defending, said he hoped to persuade the magistrates that a period of discharge would recognise the efforts his client had made to stay out of trouble.

Mr Price said a period of being offence free coincided with his client being on a settled methadone script.

"This offence occurred when he slipped off that script and returned to the use of heroin," said Mr Price.

"He would have sold the chocolate to fund his habit.

"He has managed to re-engage with the drug agency and is back on a methadone script."