A 43-year-old man has appeared in court after being charged with attempting to steal almost £200 worth of alcohol from a supermarket in St Neots.

Marcus Barwell pleaded guilty to one count of theft which saw him trespass into the Waitrose loading area, in Priory Lane, on January 11.

Giles Beaumont, prosecuting, said: “Mr Barwell was on bail in relation to another matter when it happened. It was in the early hours of that day at Waitrose and there was a limited number of staff on site.

“Staff heard the sound of something like bottles being hit together or placed on the floor, so a staff member goes to see.”

There, Mr Beaumont said Barwell was trying to steal six bottles of Courvoisier brandy, totalling £198.

He then left the site without the bottles or his push bike, before staff found his ID in his rucksack.

Mr Beaumont added: “He said he had gone there to look in the skips but was unable to get to them but saw a door in the loading bay was open. He wanted to find food, but found cabinets containing alcohol and thought it would be an idea to steal them.”

Barwell appeared at Cambridge Magistrates' Court on February 10 via video link from HMP Peterborough.

In mitigation, David Potter said he had had a “bad heroin problem” and that Barwell had substituted it for drink instead.

He added that this was not the kind of lifestyle Barwell wanted, and that he hopes he will be clean of alcohol when he leaves prison.

Peter Waterfield, chairman of the bench, ordered Barwell to serve six weeks in prison consecutive to his current sentence. He was also told to pay a £115 victim surcharge

He was also told to pay £115 in victim surcharges within 28 days of his release.