Magistrates told a man he was “dangerously close” to a custodial sentence after he appeared in court charged with a series of thefts.

Steven Lee McDonnell, 23, twice stole teeth whitening kits from boots, as well as stealing chicken from Iceland supermarket and he was found with a small amount of cannabis.

He admitted all charges on Tuesday at Welshpool Magistrates’ Court, adding he stole the items to sell and then buy food.

Helen Tench, prosecuting, said on March 29, McDonnell was arrested and he told officers he had a joint on him. He admitted possession, with officers saying the drug’s value was no more than £10.

On April 15, a member of staff noticed a man in a hoody in Boots, Welshpool, with a noticeable bulge in his top, said Ms Tench.

They checked the shelf and saw a teeth whitening kit was missing, it was worth £250.

Three days later a member of the public saw a man, McDonnell, take an item and leave the store.

A staff member saw an item was missing and when a police officer saw the footage, he identified both incidents as involving McDonnell.

On the same day, CCTV cameras saw him enter Iceland in Welshpool, put chicken valued at £10 under his top and leave.

Owain Jones, defending, said it was a worry that at 23 years old McDonnell, of Leighton Arches, Welshpool, had committed a spate of petty thefts.

These offences had breached a community order and Mr Jones said his client had stolen out of desperation and used cannabis to self medicate as he suffered anxiety and depression, which he suffered after the death of his father.

Mr Jones said his client entered guilty pleas and gave full admissions to police.

Chair of the bench Richard Hughes-Ellis said: “There has been an escalation of offences and a breach of a community order.

“You are dangerously close to a custodial sentence.”

McDonnell was given a 12 month community order to run concurrently with 50 extra hours of unpaid work.

He was ordered to pay £125 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.