A SHOPLIFTER stopped as he left a store tried to walk away after he had handed over the stolen property.

Blackburn magistrates heard Miles Andrew Whitfield began flailing his arms when the store detective placed a hand on his chest to prevent him leaving.

He was eventually sprayed with a coloured dye and when police went to his home to arrest him the dye was still on the back of his head.

Whitfield, 45, of Rose Grove Lane, Burnley, pleaded guilty to theft of chicken and steak worth £50 from Lidl, Colne.

He was made subject to a community order for nine months with a nine-month drug rehabilitation order. He was ordered to pay £50 compensation to the security officer and £95 victim surcharge. A charge of assault was withdrawn.

Graeme Tindall, prosecuting, said a member of staff at Lidl had seen Whitfield shoplifting and reported him to security.

He was challenged as he left the store and asked to stop but he ignored the request and continued to walk.

“When the security officer recovered the property the defendant took the view he could leave,” said Mr Tindall.

“The officer placed a hand on his chest while he radioed for assistance and the defendant started flailing his arms around although there was no contact.”

Nick Dearing, defending, said Whitfield had been released from prison on licence in August and placed in a probation hostel in Accrington.

“Because of the type of convictions some of the other residents in that hostel have, he was targeted by locals,” said Mr Dearing.

“They assumed he had the same type of convictions, which isn’t the case, and he was assaulted.”

Mr Dearing said his client was struggling financially having left the hostel which was the reason for the theft.

“He is now living in supported accommodation and things are much better,” said Mr Dearing.