A THIEF who entered a supermarket after it closed and stole booze ‘couldn’t remember a thing’ because he was intoxicated.

The incident took place just after midnight on June 9 after the Tesco store in Whitehaven had closed.

Lee Johnson, 32, entered the store and stole a box of Stella and a bottle of Jack Daniels then left, making no attempt to pay, Workington Magistrates’ Court heard.

Pamela Fee, prosecuting, said the defendant was spoken to by staff outside the store and was seen drinking from a bottle.

He said he had stolen the items and told staff to contact the police. Staff removed themselves from the situation and went inside to call the police.

During police interview, he said he ‘couldn’t remember a thing’ due to being intoxicated. He said he drinks alcohol and is dependent on it.

Claire Kirkpatrick, defending, said: “It’s low value shoplifting. He was highly intoxicated. He is dependent on alcohol. He wishes to apologise to the staff at Tesco.

“He is drinking daily. He has an appointment with Recovery Steps.”

Johnson, of Crowgarth Close, Cleator Moor, pleaded guilty to theft from a shop.

Magistrates fined the defendant £40 and ordered him to pay £41.25 in compensation to Tesco.

Johnson must also pay £85 costs and a £24 victim surcharge.