STEALING tubes of antifungal cream has left a Darlington shoplifter more than £280 out of pocket.

Terence Watson admitted taking four tubes of cream worth £18 each from Sainsbury’s in Clifton Road, Darlington, on July 6.

John Garside, prosecuting at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court, said the 39-year-old, of Victoria Road, was caught on CCTV taking the cream.

He said: “He noticed the store was busy and staff were distracted and decided to steal the items.”

He told the court Watson had stolen the tubes to feed his heroin addiction.

In mitigation, Sonny Lawson said his client had been released from custody a month before the offence and no income and nowhere to live.

Mr Lawson said Watson began taking heroin with his ex-partner but, after splitting up, he had been taking steps to beat his addiction by working with NECA and homeless charity First Stop.

He said: “He is 39 years of age – it is about time he turned it around now, or else he never will.”

He added Watson also has mental health issues.

Watson admitted shoplifting when he appeared at court today (Thursday, July 31).

Magistrates ordered him to pay a £110 fine, £20 victim surcharge, £85 costs and £72 compensation.