A sweet-toothed thief landed himself in court after he grabbed chocolate and fled from a shop.
Christopher Hull pushed past a member of the public as he left One Stop, in Catcote Road, Hartlepool.
“This defendant and another man both grabbed chocolate bars before running from the store,” said Lynn Dalton, prosecuting at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.
“A member of the public stood in the doorway to block their path, but was pushed aside.
“Hull dropped some chocolate as he left. None of the stolen chocolate was ever recovered.”
Hull, 34, of Shakespeare Avenue, Hartlepool, admitted theft on November 28 last year.
Martin Scarborough, defending, said the offence happened when Hull had problems with his benefits.
He said: “Mr Hull does have a history of like offending.
“But he has not offended since he took this chocolate last November.
“Anyone who reads the news may be aware of the problems genuine benefits claimants have had with transferring to the new Universal Credit benefit.
“Mr Hull is one of those people, having been left with no money for several weeks while the transfer took place.
“He had been making good progress on an existing community order, so he is moving in the right direction.
“His benefits situation has now been sorted and he is getting £290 a month.”
Hull was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £137 costs and compensation.