A DRUG-addicted habitual shoplifter has had his daytime movements severely restricted by magistrates after he stole vodka.

Benjamin McGill took two bottles of the spirit from the Co-op on Horsemarket, Barnard Castle, on May 8 but was spotted by an off-duty store supervisor who was doing her shopping.

He pleaded guilty to the theft at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday and admitted that it put him in breach of a 12-month conditional discharge imposed for a previous shop theft.

McGill was already serving an overnight curfew for the earlier offence, but Brenda Robertson of the probation service suggested that a daytime curfew would be more effective at stopping his shoplifting.

She added that 26-year-old McGill, of Oxford Street, Darlington, was already on a drug rehabilitation programme, but was consistently testing positive for heroin and cannabis.

Magistrates followed the probation service’s recommendation and imposed a month-long day-time curfew from 10am to 10pm, with amendments on the days McGill needed to attend his probation and job centre appointments.

He was also ordered to pay £38 compensation to the Co-op.