A THIEF deliberately set out to get himself arrested by stealing from a shop.

David O'Connell, from Jaywick, stole a padlock and magnifying glass worth £11.18 from WH Smith in Colchester last month.

At the time he was serving a suspended prison sentence imposed for theft and criminal damage.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard he had problems at the time and was under stress.

"He found himself in a situation where he could not cope," Emma Davenport, mitigating, told the court.

O'Connell, of Sunbeam Avenue, admitted theft and breaking the terms of his suspended sentence.

Recorder Ian Bourne QC did not activate the suspended sentence but gave the 49-year-old a 12-month community order and an 80-hour work order.

The judge told him: "You were under pressure and unable to cope and this was deliberate offending to get into custody."