A man who stole from two shops was struggling to deal with his brother’s ill health and subsequent death, a court was told.

Paul Standen, of Tanhouse Lane, Malvern, appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court charged with two thefts.

Liam Finch, prosecuting, said Standen, aged 43, was seen on CCTV stealing razors worth £29.34 from the Co-op in Upper Howsell Road, Malvern Link, on December 6 last year.

He also stole food of an unknown value from Tesco Express in Pershore on Thursday, January 5.

Mr Finch said the thefts were not pre-planned or sophisticated.

Simon Deeley, defending, said Standen’s younger brother’s death on December 8 last year had been a motivation for the crimes, especially the first incident as he needed money to visit him in hospital.

The court was told Standen was attending appointments with the community drugs team in Malvern andhad reduced his methadone script from 100mg to 70mg.

Standen was fined £110 for each incident and ordered to pay compensation of £29.34 to the Co Op store, costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £15.

Standen will return to magistrates court on Tuesday, July 31 in relation to two other charges of making gains by false representation last July and receiving a watch worth £5,000 belonging to Matthew Bourne last June.

He indicated a not guilty plea to both and was released on conditional bail.