Impressed by the progress shown by a defendant well-known to the court, magistrates gave him a lenient sentence.
Philip Pledger, of Stour Court, Grantham, admitted stealing four scented diffusers worth £80 from Laura Ashley in Grantham on July 7.
Daniel Pietryka told the bench that Pledger was seen stealing the items when a suspicious staff member checked CCTV footage.
He later told police that he stole the diffusers because they were easy to sell and he needed money as his benefits were stopped.
Mr Pietryka added: “He needed money for food for the family, but apologised.”
His defence solicitor told magistrates that Pledger had spent a short time in prison earlier this year and had since taken steps to turn his life around.
He said: “Since coming out of prison he’s managed to cut down his drug use. He’s on increased mephedrone and things have stablised.”
Pledger has a nine-month-old baby with his partner, which “has helped him immensely,” as has changing his social circles.
He also quoted from a police report, stating that Pledger was “very remorseful, honest and open about the matter”. He asked magistrates to consider a conditional discharge.
Pledger was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge and told to pay £85 costs, a £15 victim surcharge and a £150 criminal court charge.