A thief stole Christmas presents bought for four children from their mum two days before the festive season, a court heard.
Anthony Monaghan (40) struck while Lynne Thorpe was strapping her family into the car after a shopping trip last December 23rd.
Burnley magistrates were told how Monaghan made off with two large bags, containing £150 worth of toys and games, from the back of the vehicle.
He was later stopped by a police officer and said: “I know what this is about. It’s them two bags from the car park.” Monaghan, at the time homeless, said he found them next to a skip.
The defendant, of Accrington Road, Burnley, admitted theft in the town. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and must pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. The hearing was told he had been out of trouble for some time.
Mr Trevor Grice (defending) said in interview, Monaghan had told police he was homeless.
“He now has a settled address, a settled lifestyle and is receiving jobseekers’ allowance. He is actively seeking employment and has not reoffended.”
Sentencing, District Judge Margaret McCormack said: “Fortunately, this lady doesn’t appear to have been psychologically scarred, but I am sure it was at the worst possible time for her when she was probably very stressed trying to get things ready for the holiday.”