A man who tried to scam a supermarket by putting hair in a pot of food has escaped being sent to prison.
Ryan Peck carried out the con at Sainsbury’s new flagship superstore in Blackpool and was given a free meal at the cafe.
He later told police he committed the scam because he had no benefits and was starving as he had not eaten for days.
Peck, 26, of Windsor Avenue, South Shore, pleaded guilty to two offences of theft.
He was put on 12 months’ supervision with six months drug rehabilitation, fined £20 and ordered to pay £10.85 compensation with £60 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.
Pam Smith, prosecuting, said Peck went to Sainsbury’s and complained he had found hair in a pot of strawberries and cream he had bought from there on August 26.
He was given a free meal in the cafe, but staff became suspicious and checked the store’s CCTV.
The footage showed Peck stealing the pot of strawberries and cream, then placing something in the pot. When arrested, Peck admitted to police he had put the hair in the pot.
Suzanne Mugford, defending, said Peck, who had previously been a heroin addict but was now on methadone, had mental health problems. He committed the offences because he had no benefits at the time and was starving.