DESPERATE to be smart, a man stole from a Sunderland clothes store.
Aaron McKenzie told staff at Primark in the city centre that he was returning the items, worth £43, to get a bigger size.
But he had not paid for any of them and was nabbed as he tried to leave the store.
The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to theft and fraud at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.
Stephen Davies, prosecuting, said drunken McKenzie took four pieces of clothing to staff on May 8 and asked to swap them.
He also snatched a pack of bangles as he was leaving the shop in High Street West.
Ian Cassidy, defending, said: “He took the decision to get some clothing.
“The clothing he had was worse for wear and had holes in it.
“He does not have a great deal of income, so he thought what he would do, very foolishly, was to obtain it without paying for it.”
Probation officer Ian Richardson told the court that McKenzie lived alone, after the breakdown of his relationship.
He suffered from depression, but was now receiving help from the Crisis mental health team.
McKenzie, of Taunton Square, Thorney Close, was fined £55 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge.