A victim of crime who stole after his benefits were stopped has admitted targeting another shop.

Harjinder Bahia first appeared at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court a week ago and pleaded guilty to a stealing spree involving stores in Kent, in the south east of England.

The court heard that the 38-year-old fled to the area from Batley, upon police advice, after threats were made to him.

He then found himself isolated and without any benefits and turned to crime in order to survive.

Bahia admitted to another offence of shoplifting, this time involving a store closer to home in Dewsbury.

On July 14 he stole 20 cans of Red Bull belonging to Farmfoods based in Aldams Road.

Prosecutor Vanessa Jones said that he concealed the cans, valued at £20, in his clothing and left the store.

She said: “A member of staff thought that the clothing was somewhat bulky.

“He was followed by a member of the public who stopped him and police attended.

“The defendant said that he’d taken the items for survival.”

Bahia, of Mill Lane in Batley, tested positive for the misuse of cocaine following his arrest.

Last week he admitted stealing from shops in the Gravesend area of Kent between January 25 and March 7.

On February 25 he was caught by an off-duty police officer trying to leave a branch of the Co-op after stuffing £40 of meat into his jacket.

But he got away with thefts from Superdrug in the Thamesgate Centre on three different dates.

His haul included Oral B electric toothbrushes, Olay face cream and Maybelline mascaras and foundation worth a total of £367.

Bahia was given a community order after magistrates heard how he ran away from the area after he was involved in an incident where others threatened violence against him.

Police told him that it was not safe for him to continue to live in the area but when he left his benefits were stopped and he had no money.

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His solicitor Sajid Majeed said: “Because he fled so suddenly he was unable to provide the benefits agency with evidence and he was sanctioned.

“For three months he was unable to claim any sort of benefit and, in the absence of any monies to support himself, he was struggling and committed offences to survive.”

Magistrates sentenced Bahia to a day in custody already served because of the time he spent locked up following his arrest.

They allowed the community order given at his previous court appearance, which includes 60 hours of unpaid work, to continue and made no order for court costs.