A homeless “chronic alcoholic” has been jailed for stealing four cans of lager – after he begged to be sent to prison so he could detox.
Magistrates told Anthony Marranzini they were not sentencing him to custody because he had asked, but because of his “appalling record” of offending.
Chairman of the bench, Elaine Bird, said: “You have 39 convictions, 20 of which are for theft. You have appeared in court 11 times in 11 months and there comes a point where enough is enough.”
The 48-year-old, of no fixed abode, was jailed for eight weeks on Tuesday after he admitted stealing four cans of lager from Tesco Express in Gaywood on January 2.
Giles Debenham, representing Marranzini, told the court he was “extremely intoxicated” when he stole the lager. A breath test at the police station revealed 158 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – more than four-and-a-half times the legal drink-drive limit.
Mr Debenham said Tesco staff let Marranzini leave the store with a warning, but he later returned and asked for the police to be called.
“He basically instigated his own arrest,” he said.
“He doesn’t seek to be released from custody. He is homeless, he doesn’t have anywhere else to go and he is a chronic alcoholic.”
He also said an eight-week prison sentence would “tie-in” with a four-week detox programme he wants to complete.