Norfolk man stole Xbox games - but found they were empty display cases

A Diss man has been handed a 12-month community order for stealing Xbox 360 games - only to discover they were empty display cases.

Steven Martin, 32, of Roydon Road, Diss, was stopped by a policeman near the town's St Mary's Church after taking four of the games and a freeview digital television box from the Tesco store on Victoria Road, the haul totalling �97.77 in value.

He appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court yesterday but was dealt with leniently due to otherwise good progress in recovery from drug and alcohol addictions.

Martin admitted he had been 'really stupid' but insisted it was a slip in his progress and that he intended to return to abstinence ahead of starting an electricians' course in September.

He was released on licence to the Ipswich Probation Service in March of this year having been sentenced to a 12-month spell in prison for harassment in September 2010.

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The court was told of how Martin had struggled with mental health issues and drugs and alcohol misuse since 1998 but had 'applied himself diligently' since his release from prison in March and was making good progress.

Martin said: 'All I can do is apologise, I just had a lapse, I've got nothing I can say, I did something wrong but I'm back on track now.'

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Chairman of the bench, John Farrow, told Martin that he would be under the close supervision of the Probation Service when giving him the 12-month community order.

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