A STRESSED man blamed work pressures for a stealing spree in Worcester city centre when he took condoms and tinned octopus.

Mark Brookes stole seven times from seven different shops on the same day.

The 49-year-old admitted the thefts when he appeared before magistrates in Worcester.

On June 1, Brookes of Crownoakes Drive, Wordsley, Stourbridge, stole a magazine worth 50p from WH Smith, an ordnance survey map and a compass worth £30 from Millets, two light sticks worth £2.99 from Tresspass, toothpaste, soap and condoms worth £6.79 from Superdrug, refuse sacks worth £1 from Poundland, a tin of octopus worth £2.50 from Papson’s Continental Deli and a shoe brush worth £3.95 from Timpsons. Kate Price, prosecuting, said Brookes had been drinking. She said all the items were in a saleable condition except the light sticks.

Sarah Brady, defending, said Brookes was hard-working and law-abiding.

“He would ascribe his actions on that day to being under the influence of alcohol and to work pressures which had been building up over a period of months,” she said.

“He works as a computerised lathe operator. He has difficulty dealing with the level of pressure. He knows there’s no excuse for what he did.”

Magistrates fined him £150, ordered him to pay a £15 victim surcharge, costs of £85 and compensation of £2.99 to Tresspass for the theft of the light sticks.