A CASH-STRAPPED man stole toothbrushes from a shop to pay his rent and bills, a court heard.

But Daniel Edge, 36, says he is now too long in the tooth for a life of crime and is trying to turn over a new leaf.

Chester Magistrates Court heard he pinched three electric toothbrushes and a shaver worth almost £1,000 from Boots on Foregate Street, Chester, over the course of two days.

He first struck on February 9, selecting two Phillips Sonicare models and walking off without paying for them.

Six days later he was back, this time pocketing an Oral B Genius as well as a Braun Series 9 shaver on February 15.

Edge, who was working at a chicken factory at the time, was arrested shortly afterwards and made full admissions in his police interview.

“He said he knew the items belonged to Boots,” said prosecutor Eve Johnson. “He took the items in order to sell them on. He was on sick leave at work and wasn’t earning enough to pay the bills.”

Edge, formerly of Cross Street, Hoole, Chester, but now living with his mum in Philip Street, Sandycroft, Deeside, has notched up 22 previous convictions for 38 offences.

The most recent was for a charge of attempted theft on February 27 this year for which he received a community order and 120 hours of unpaid work.

Scott McCrimmon, defending, stressed his client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and was trying to start a new life.

He had recovered from drug issues and moved away from Chester to distance himself from “negative peers”. He was now working as a labourer and had just completed a welding course at college.

Mr McCrimmon told the court: “He has started to rebuild his life slowly.”

At the time of the offence Edge had pneumonia and was off work.

“Statutory sick pay was not enough to cover the rent and bills,” the solicitor told the court.

Magistrates handed the defendant another community order, adding another 100 hours to the 120 he was given in February.

He was also ordered to pay Boots £979.97 in compensation and must also cough up £85 in court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Urged to change his ways by magistrates, Edge nodded.

“I’m getting too old for this now,” he added.