A man who stole perfume from Boots claimed he was going to sell it to buy food.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard Craig Grant had an extensive record for similar offences, but at the age of 52, he had seen the light.

Aftab Bakhat, mitigating, said his client had managed to get a methadone prescription and had the opportunity of a residential drugs rehabilitation programme.

“At the age of 52 he has taken on board that he can’t continue like this,” said Mr Bakhat.

“He has stopped the rot and he is making great strides to turn his life around.”

Grant, 52, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to theft of perfume worth £127. He stole the items from Boots in Blackburn on December 15.

He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £26 victim surcharge.

Graeme Tindall, prosecuting, said Grant had taken the perfume and tried to run off but was detained by security staff.

He said Grant had 75 convictions for 180 offences, 123 of them for offences of dishonesty.

Mr Bakhat said his client had been released from prison in September and there had been problems establishing a benefits claim.

“He committed this offence before his claim had been authorised and he was stealing to raise money to buy food,” said Mr Bakhat.