A THIEF who helped himself to the contents of a woman's handbag has been given a 12 month supervision order.

Burnley Magistrates heard how drunken Geoffrey Scott Graham, 31, had danced close to the victim in the Union Exchange pub, Colne.

She then noticed her bag was missing.

The defendant, not long out of prison, was stopped and searched nearby by police and had the victim's property with him.

Prosecutor David Hartley told the court Graham offended on a "fairly regular basis."

The defendant, of Walton Street, Colne, admitted theft on January 6.

John Rusius, defending, said Graham came from a background of domestic violence and had an unhappy childhood.

He would get into mischief so the police would come to his house and would see what was going on.

The defendant had turned to drink and drugs trying to black out his past, Mr Rusius said.