Magistrates told a Grantham man he had one last chance to reform or he would be sent to prison.
Philip Derek Pledger, 38, of Stour Court, Grantham, admitted breaching a community order and committing two thefts in local stores.
Pledger pleaded guilty to stealing two KREO Transformer toys worth £18.98 from Boyes in High Street, Grantham, on November 6, and a Dormar bed throw worth £114.99 from Dunelm Mill in the town on November 10.
Prosecuting, Paul Wood told the court that Pledger went into Boyes with a carrier bag from another store and was seen by the manager taking items from the shelf. He walked out of the store into the High Street and staff informed the police. He was stopped by officers and the toys were found in the bag but Pledger was released because the store could not confirm the toys had gone missing.
Mr Wood said four days later, Pledger went into Dunelm and took the bed throw from a display and put it in a bag. He left the store, setting off the alarms, and was challenged by staff. He told them he was taking it back for a refund or exchange, but reviewing their CCTV footage the store found that only one throw had been returned and that was by a female customer. Pledger later denied both thefts in an interview with police.
The court also heard that Pledger had failed to comply with a community order made by Lincoln magistrates in June. He had failed to attend two appointments with the probation service and gave no acceptable reason for missing them. He also failed to maintain contact with his offender manager.
Defending, Ian Boddy told the court that up to 2010 Pledger had been a heavy drug user and prolific offender, but was now in a relationship and had two young children. He and his partner were living in council accommodation which he had refurbished and he had looked after the children while his partner went to college. But this had got on top of him and he was also ill with serious leg ulcers.
Mr Boddy said his client had gone back to taking drugs to relieve the pain of the ulcers and was on a methodone prescription. Mr Boddy said: “He knows he has to get on top of this or he will lose his family. His partner is not going back to 2010 and she does not want him dragging her down with him. The onus in the next two months is on him to show what he says and means it.”
Magistrates allowed the community order to continue and ordered Pledger to pay £20 costs. With regard to the thefts, they deferred sentence for two months on condition that Pledger attends all appointments with the probation service, works with his doctor to reduce his dependence on drugs and does not reoffend. He was told there was a “strong chance” he would go to prison if he did not comply.
The case was adjourned until March 11 for further reports.