A thief started to remove his trousers in a vain bid to prove he had not stolen anything from a supermarket. But security staff noticed a suspicious lump in William Browne’s trouser pocket and found a joint of meat inside it.
They also discovered two further joints of meat, one up each of Browne’s sleeves.
Browne, 53, of South Shore, Blackpool, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to theft.
Pam Smith, prosecuting, said staff at Aldi saw Browne acting suspiciously in the supermarket and he was stopped outside on December 10 at about 5pm.
The prosecutor said: “The defendant started to remove his trousers, saying he had nothing on him.”
Browne told police he had a heroin habit and it was most likely he would have sold the meat to pay for drugs or alcohol.
Gary McAnulty, defending, told the judge his client said he had been given a cigarette before going into the supermarket.
He now believed that contained a legal high.
Browne was now on a prescription for the heroin substitute methadone.
Browne was sentenced to a three-month tagged curfew from 8pm to 4am and ordered to pay compensation of £19.57p for the meat by District Judge Rod Ross, sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.