A man who stole food and trainers from two Lynn stores was acting out of desperation, a court heard.
CCTV footage recorded Raymond James, pushing a hoover around the Iceland premises in the town centre during one of the incidents.
The 57-year-old, of Seven Sisters Close, Lynn, was given an 18 month conditional discharge after pleading guilty to two charges of theft when he appeared before magistrates yesterday.
Mitigating solicitor Ruth Johnson told the court that her client’s benefits had been stopped after he was admitted to the town’s Fermoy unit for mental health treatment.
She said James acknowledged that the second offence, which was committed while he was on bail for the first, aggravated his position.
But she added: “He did what he felt he had to in a situation where he was pretty desperate.”
Earlier, the court heard the first offence came to light when a stock shortage was noticed in Lynn’s Iceland store on the afternoon of July 4.
CCTV footage, which was taken earlier that day, showed James pushing a hoover around the premises as he selected several meat and cheese products from the display.
He then left the store without paying for the items, which were worth a total of .
Miss Johnson said the fact James had the cleaning device with him showed the extent of his difficulties.
Jane Foster, prosecuting, said James was identified by police and subsequently showed officers the items in his fridge when they visited his home.
He told them he didn’t have any money and “needed food.”
Three days after that incident, during the afternoon of July 7, James entered the Deichmann Shoes store in Broad Street, where he was observed acting suspiciously.
Miss Foster said he then tried to run from the store when an alarm went off, but was stopped outside by a member of staff who recovered a pair of blue Adidas trainers from him. He later told police he had intended to sell the footwear, worth £39.99.
In addition to his conditional discharge, James was told to pay a £20 victim surcharge. There was no order for costs.