A SERIAL Stourbridge shoplifter who stole to fuel his drug addiction has avoided spending time behind bars.

In his latest stealing spree, Sean Fitzgerald took goods from stores in Stourbridge, Wordsley and Kingswinford, said Nicholas Burn, prosecuting.

He told Wolverhampton Crown Court the 39-year-old stole meat from the Co-op in Stourbridge and meat and cheese from Sainsbury's in Wordsley.

He then stole four bottles of brandy from the Co-op in Kingswinford and smashed two bottles of wine while attempting to leave the store.

The offences were committed over a four day period, said Mr Burn, and on two occasions Fitzgerald was caught on CCTV.

Fitzgerald, of Armstrong Close, admitted three charges of theft and another of destroying property and he was given a six month jail term, suspended for a year.

"You have an appalling record undoubtedly because of your drug addiction," Judge Michael Dudley told Fitzgerald.

"But you do get full credit for pleading guilty to these matters."

Mr Burn said Fitzgerald had a long list of previous convictions going back "quite some time" and his record included many offences of dishonesty.