Crook said he couldn't keep curfew because of dog walking
A prolific crook facing a night-time curfew for his 174th offence complained he needed to take his dog out.
Jason McCourt told Burnley magistrates he went out for a walk with the animal every night at 9pm, but then changed the time to an hour later.
McCourt, who was being sentenced for repeatedly using a stolen debit card, told the magistrates: "I usually take it out about 10pm."
Chairman Mr Paul Wright replied: "It was 9pm a few minutes ago. This dog needs to go out at a specific time, does it?"
The defendant answered: "It has to go out as late as possible."
The jobless 42-year-old had admitted three charges of fraud by false representation, after using the contactless card in Tesco Express, a newsagent's and then trying to use it again in an off-licence, all in Colne, last November 22nd.
He had struck just an hour after it was stolen from a car and was caught on CCTV getting goods to the tune of Â£32.
Prosecutor Mrs Tracy Yates told the hearing: "In interview, he said he found the cash card and used it on three occasions, but the bank card was declined on the third occasion, due to insufficient funds." She added McCourt had 79 convictions for 173 offences.
The defendant, of New Oxford Street, Colne, was given a four week curfew, between 9pm and 7am, which Mr Wright told him was "to take into account your dog duties." He must also pay an Â£85 victim surcharge and Â£40 costs.