A man covered over his car number plates in a bid to steal fuel from a petrol station.

Darren Moorhouse admitted to the theft from the Tesco Express filling station in Dalton.

Kirklees magistrates heard that the builder was struggling for cash after his benefits were stopped.

The 49-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of making off without payment.

Magistrates heard that he drove his Mazda onto the forecourt of the Wakefield Road petrol station on April 1.

He started to fill up his vehicle but staff stopped the pump after noticing that the number plates were covered.

Kirklees Magistrates' Court, Huddersfield
Kirklees Magistrates' Court, Huddersfield

Moorhouse, of West Avenue in Honley, then got into his car and drove away.

Alex Bozman, prosecuting, said: “A member of staff managed to remove a bag from the front number plate and took a note of the registration.

“Moorhouse was the registered keeper and said he had no money and issues with amphetamines.”

Mike Sisson-Pell, mitigating, said that his client was a builder by trade but had been out of work for some time.

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He had been declared unfit for work after suffering from anxiety and depression but in January his benefits had been stopped.

Mr Sisson-Pell said: “Stupidly he went to the petrol station, put fuel in and drove off.

“Everyone knows that these petrol stations have CCTV cameras and the car was quite distinctive.”

Magistrates gave Moorhouse a conditional discharge.

He still has to pay £26.77 compensation to the petrol station as well as £85 costs and £15 victim surcharge.