A prolific shoplifter who stole to feed his drug habit was given a chance to change his life.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard when Scott Chinnery first came before the court he pleaded not guilty to eight offences and guilty to one.

After being remanded in custody for five days he changed all his pleas to guilty.

His solicitor, Jonathan Taylor, suggested Chinnery deserved a chance.

Chinnery, 35, of Abraham Street, Blackburn, admitted to nine thefts.

These included thefts of chocolate from the One Stop in Blackburn and Michael Kors gift sets from TK Maxx.

He was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months and made subject to a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement and a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

District Judge Alexandra Preston said she was only just persuaded to suspend the sentence.

“Your chronic drug addiction is at the root of your problems,” said District Judge Preston.

“I am going to try and pass a sentence to help you deal with that.”

Mr Taylor said since he was remanded in custody his client had been to see the drugs team in HMP Altcar and had got himself back on a methadone script.

“He was complying well with probation until he slipped back into drugs again and started offending again,” said Mr Taylor.

“I would ask you to take a step back from immediate custody and suspend any prison sentence.”