A MAN stole toys from a Chester shop before heading straight to a nearby pub to sell them for booze, a court heard.

Steven Joseph Taggart, 53, pleaded guilty to stealing the items from The Entertainer on Foregate Street on May 3 this year.

Prosecuting at Chester Magistrates Court, Rob Youds said a community enforcement officer had spoken to the defendant in the pub and spotted the stolen items.

“He said he had stolen them and went straight to the pub with the intention of selling them to buy alcohol,” Mr Youds said.

David Woods, defending, said his client had made the journey to Chester with the sole purpose of drinking.

The decision to steal the toys was made “on the spur of the moment”.

Taggart, who has 21 previous convictions for 42 offences, is said to have a “very bad alcohol habit” but is receiving help through his accommodation at the YMCA on North Road, St Helens.

District Judge Nicholas Sanders fined him £85 and ordered him to pay court costs of £85 as well as a £30 victim surcharge.

“You’re getting too old for this game,” he told Taggart, who vowed to turn over a new leaf.

Leaving the dock, the defendant joked: “I’m going to do a law degree next year!”

“Heaven help us,” replied the district judge.