Isaac Sweeney was clearly unsteady on his feet and slurring when he appeared at Leeds Crown Court this week, and was immediately challenged by Judge Ray Singh as he walked into court.
He asked him: “Be honest, have you had a drink? You can’t walk straight. You’ve not been drinking Jack Daniel’s have you?”
Sweeney denied being intoxicated but Judge Singh later said: “It’s patently obvious you have had a drink.”
The defendant admitted stealing four bottles of whisky from the Asda store in Otley. He walked into the shop shortly before 6pm on April 12 and brazenly reached behind the security screen and took the bottles before walking out. He was quickly arrested and admitted the theft.
Mitigating, Jade Bucklow said that Sweeney, of Woodsley Road, Woodhouse, now had stable accommodation and was on a methadone programme for his heroin addiction. She said he was “particularly vulnerable”.
However, the 43-year-old is already on a two-year suspended sentence for arson. Judge Singh told him: “I always say to people (on a suspended sentence), if they so much as steal a Mars bar, I will lock them up. You are trying my patience Mr Sweeney.
"I should lock you up for two years. That’s the stupidity of going into a shop and taking four bottles of Jack Daniel’s. It’s the height of stupidity.
"I’m going to give you one last chance, but if we meet again I will lock you up.”
He was given a six-month conditional discharge.