A recovering alcoholic helped himself to a large glass of brandy from a bottle on sale while walking round Tesco just after midnight, a court was told.
Ex-student Joshua Joseph Bray (22), who had a pint glass in his jacket, poured half a bottle of XO cognac into it and put the bottle back on the shelf. He was caught on CCTV.
The hearing was told the defendant, who is on benefits and had run out of cash, had hit the bottle as he had been told that day that his aunt had died.
He tried to run off and was said to have threatened to stab staff when he was apprehended.
Bray, of Parker Lane, Burnley, admitted stealing the £17 alcohol from the supermarket’s branch in the town on January 18th. He was given a nine-month community order, with a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement and must pay £17 compensation, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
Prosecutor Mr Andrew Robinson told the court the defendant was challenged by staff, tried to walk away and there was “something of a scuffle”.
He continued: “He started being a little aggressive towards store staff, telling them, ‘I’m going to stab you in the temple’. Police arrived and arrested him and he made admissions. He describes himself as a recovering alcoholic. He said he had £1 on him.”
Mr Nick Cassidy, defending, said until recently Bray was a student at Cumbria University. Drink became a real issue and if he was able to tackle the drink once and for all they would allow him to return and complete his studies.
The defendant had sought the assistance of a number of local agencies and had not been drinking.
The solicitor continued: “He found out in the morning his aunt had died. He immediately hit the bottle. He accepts he had a drink on Monday of this week when it was her funeral.”
Mr Cassidy added Bray had enrolled on a cognitive behavioural course.District Judge Alexandra Simmonds told the defendant it was of concern to her that he had a glass on him.
She continued: “Overall, you are getting yourself in more and more trouble at the moment, despite managing to make good progress in tackling your alcohol addiction.”