A HOMELESS man stole food from a Hereford shop out of desperation, a court was told.

Liam Nott, 31, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to the theft when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford.

Prosecutor Nicola Ritchie told the court that Nott had entered the Holmer Road service station at 8.10pm on October 13.

Staff saw him concealing food items including a cheese wrap, chocolate bars and biscuits worth a total of £9.95 in his clothing before he left the store without paying.

Nott, who is already subject to a conditional discharge for two similar offences, was detained by security staff and the police were called.

In interview, Nott said he had gone to the shop with the intention of stealing as he had no money and was homeless and hungry.

Marilena Di Vitantonio, mitigating, said Nott had cooperated with the store and police, and the goods had been recovered.

"He is in breach of his conditional discharge, but those offences were in March," she said.

"The items he took then were alcohol, and he took those and sold them to pay for drugs, but he is now working with Addaction.

"This time, it was because he was desperately hungry."

A report carried out by the probation service said Nott was struggling financially but was engaging with the homeless team.

"He was in supported accommodation but he lost that, and is now subject to a five-year ban from local authority housing," the report said.

Nott, who is appealing the ban, is currently living in a tent.

He was handed a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a £21 victim surcharge.