A MAN went into a supermarket and hid a bottle of vodka down the front of his trousers.
Robert George Corbett had been drinking when he went into Tesco, in Belle Vue Way, Hartlepool, and made his way to the alcohol aisle.
The 44 year old picked up a bottle of Smirnoff vodka, worth £17, and hid it down the front of his trousers before selecting a bottle of Lambrini and going to the self-service check-outs to pay for it.
CCTV cameras had picked up Corbett’s antics, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court was told, and security were waiting as he left the store.
Prosecuting, Lorraine Cooper said: “It was 2.38pm when the defendant was seen in the store. He selected a two litre bottle of vodka and concealed it down the front of his jeans.
“Then as he left the alcohol aisle he selected a bottle of Lambrini and paid for that.
“As he left the store he was detained and he removed the concealed bottle of vodka.”
She added: “He told police he’d been drinking all day and was drunk. He said he’d originally gone in to the shop to buy cider but when he got there he decided to steal the vodka. He couldn’t account for his actions and said he was drunk.”
Corbett, of Wordsworth Avenue, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to theft on March 10.
Mitigating, Adrian Morris, told justices that his client has an ongoing “alcohol dependency problem”.
He said: “He accepts he went into the store and stole the vodka because he didn’t have any funds to buy what he wanted.”
Chairman of the bench Joan Fenwick sentenced Corbett to a 12-month conditional discharge.