A man suffering from the cold was caught pushing a wheelie bin full of coal he had stolen.
James Falkingham who was stopped by police in the middle of the street at Cleveleys told police: “I robbed it because I was cold and had been spending a lot of money on electric.”
Falkingham, 45, of Coronation Road, Cleveleys, pleaded guilty to theft of six bags of coal valued at £56 from Anchorsholme Service Station.
He was given a 12 months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 costs with £20 victims’ surcharge by District Judge Jim Clarke sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.
Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said a member of the public contacted police to say he had seen a man pushing an empty wheelie bin, who had then returned with a full bin on January 13 at 1.20am.
Police stopped Falkingham in the road near his home and saw the bin was full of coal.
Howard Green, defending, said his client had moved into a flat where the previous tenant had died of a drug overdose and the electricity meter had previously been by-passed.
Because of the previous meter by-passing Falkingham had had to pay more for his electric for some time.
He was drunk when he took the coal.