A man who stole hundreds of pounds worth of toiletries from shops in Huntingdon has been banned from the town centre for two years.

Lewis Ealand was handed the criminal behaviour order on Thursday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to three counts of theft from a shop and another of going equipped for theft.

Magistrates heard that, on February 6, Ealand stole after-shave and perfume worth £228 from a branch of Boots, in High Street.

“He was interviewed in relation to the theft and said 'I'm an idiot, I'm sorry', he admitted that he had stolen them to fund his drug habit,” prosecutor Sally Rose, told Cambridge Magistrates' Court.

Days later, on February 9, Ealand targeted Superdrug, in St Germain's Walk, where he stole £300 of perfume.

He then targeted Iceland, in High Street, on February 10, and stole £32 worth of frozen steak.

Ealand's crime spree came to an end on the same day, after he was stopped by officers from Cambridgeshire police and found to have a razor blade modified with tape.

“This was to be used to remove sticky tags off of stuff for stealing,” added Mrs Rose.

The court heard the 22-year-old had taken the items to feed his habit for heroin and crack cocaine.

In mitigation, Christopher Hartnack said that Ealand, of Berkhampstead, in Hertfordshire, had been in Huntingdon to attend probation appointments after being released from prison.

“He has no connection anymore to Cambridgeshire or Huntingdon,” Mr Hartnack said.

“Since his last release he has engaged with the Prince's Trust and is currently on a 12-week course looking at homelessness issues but also with a view to looking for employment.

“For the first time, for a long time, he [Ealand] is taking matters into his own hands and making positive steps.”

Ealand was handed a 12-month community order and will undergo a six-month drug rehabilitation scheme.

He was also ordered to pay compensation of £560, court costs of £85 and £85 victim surcharge.

As a part of his criminal behaviour order, he will also be banned from entering shops in the Huntingdonshire Business Against Crime scheme.