A SHOP thief apologised to magistrates before walking free from court.
Andrew Laycock stole £11 worth of food and drink from the Tesco store in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, on December 2 last year.
The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of shop theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
His solicitor, Ian Haq, told the court that Laycock wished to address the magistrates before they passed sentence.
Laycock, of Alverthorpe Street, South Shields, said: “I just want to take this opportunity to apologise.
“I definitely won’t do anything like this again.”
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said Laycock and paid for some items at the self-service counter but put another £11 of goods in his shopping bag without paying for them.
Ian Haq, defending, said: “He was on his way to work and didn’t have sufficient funds to pay.
“He entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity.
“This was a low-level theft, and the goods were recovered.”
Laycock was given a one-year conditional discharge, with £85 costs and a £15 surcharge.