A 45-year-old Grantham man claimed that being the victim of identity theft had led him to steal a bottle of Jack Daniels from Morrisons in the Isaac Newton centre.
Charles Pinchbeck of Harrowby Road pleaded guilty to stealing the alcohol valued at £29 from the Grantham supermarket on January 28.
At 3.25pm Pinchbeck went into the store and selected a bottle which he then placed into a shopping bag he already had in his possession and left, explained Marie Stace, prosecuting.
However the defendant was spotted by the security officer who stopped him at the shop’s exit and recovered the item.
Pinchbeck said he had been trying to get some money all day, and admitted that he had gone in with the intention to steal alcohol to then sell on, having only had £10 on him.
Miss Stace informed the court that Pinchbeck was last before the court on October 2 last year, and had since served a prison sentence lasting 11 weeks.
Defending himself, Pinchbeck said he was struggling for money at the time as ‘someone is using my identity to get working tax credits’, before adding: “I know it’s no excuse.”
He said that he had reported this to Inland Revenue, and that he was currently getting £19 a week through benefits, £14 of which is spent on t rented accommodation.
Taking into account Pinchbeck’s financial means, magistrates decided not to impose a £15 victim surcharge or any costs, and sentenced him to a conditional discharge for a period of six months.