A father-of-five who stole a crate of lager from Tesco had drunk two cans of Bacardi and coke while he was still in the store, a court heard.
Martin McCann (30) had put the cans back on the shelf after downing the booze and then walked out with the Budweiser.
Burnley magistrates were told how McCann, who had had a drink problem for a decade now, was facing jail as he had flouted a suspended jail term.
However, McCann, of Albert Street, Burnley, kept his freedom and was offered some help with his addiction as well, after he admitted to stealing alcohol worth £13.36 on March 31st, failing to surrender and breaching the suspended sentence order, imposed for ignoring a non-molestation order.
He was given a nine month community order, with up to 15 days’ rehabilitation activity requirement, which will include work on his alcohol-related issues.
McCann was also fined £30 and was told to pay £3.80 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
The hearing was told the defendant acknowledged that he had had a drink problem for the last 10 years.
His solicitor told the court: “He is in a position where he could use his liberty this morning.”