A drug addict repeatedly stole from Huddersfield supermarkets after being left without cash when his benefits changed.
Patrick Harrington shoved past one shopkeeper as he tried to detain him, bolting through the back door of the store only to be caught by police patrolling the area.
The Berry Brow man, who has 179 offences to his name, said that he had been struggling to survive after his benefits were switched over from ESA to Universal Credit.
He appeared at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court to be sentenced for five charges of shoplifting, assault and resisting a police constable acting in the execution of his duty.
The 40-year-old was in custody after failing to turn up for his sentencing hearing at the Huddersfield court on Wednesday.
Magistrates were told that he targeted the Market Street branch of Sainsbury’s twice between October 2 and 16 and stole six bottles of Jack Daniel’s worth £180.
He was identified from the store’s CCTV footage by a security guard and tested positive for the misuse of cocaine and opiates following his arrest.
On November 21 Harrington, of Holme Park Court, took meat from Aldi in Beck Road.
He stole from the Morrisons service station in Lockwood Road on February 7, returning to the store again on February 16 to take chocolate and bacon.
Prosecutor Andy Wills said: “He was immediately recognised by a member of staff who tried to block his exit.
“The defendant pulled his hand and there was a tussle. He then went to the back of the store, forced the door and made good his escape.”
Police in the area challenged Harrington and he resisted one of the officers as he handcuffed him.
He told police: “They switched me to Universal Credit and I have no money.”
Paul Blanchard, mitigating, said that the heroin addict was waiting for a drug prescription at the time.
He told magistrates that Harrington, who cannot work, was previously receiving ESA but when this was changed over to Universal Credit there was a delay in his payments and he stole basic foods like bacon and cheese to eat as well as sell on.
Mr Blanchard said: “He’s just got prison, prison, prison since 2014 and it’s clear to me that the imposition of prison to him serves no purpose.
“He can change and perhaps this is the day that he can commence that change.”
Magistrates handed Harrington 26 weeks in custody but suspended this sentence for a year on the condition that he does not commit any further offences.
He will also have to pay £115 victim surcharge.