A drunk teenager was caught red-handed just seconds after stealing a pair of work boots from the boot of a car.
Police stopped Ben Lever just moments after the boots, worth £20, were stolen from the boot of Keiran Grimes’s silver Mazda on Halloween.
St Helens Magistrates’ Court heard how a neighbour heard a loud creaking noise outside at about 9pm as the boot of the car was opened.
Lever, 18, was then spotted walking away from the scene.
But, moments later, a police car pulled alongside him and the men he was with all ran off.
Lever, a student, was carrying the stolen work boots in his hands.
In interview, he admitted he had downed half a bottle of vodka with his friends that evening but claimed that the stolen boots had been merely handed to him by another member of the group.that
He told how the men he was with had been drunkenly trying car doors.
A small stash of cannabis was subsequently discovered at his Dorothy Street home, in Thatto Heath, which he admitted was for his own personal use.
Lever pleaded guilty to charges of stealing from a motor vehicle and possession of cannabis on his first appearance before the courts.
Patrick Heald, defending, argued that his client deserved credit for his co-operation with police and early guilty pleas.
He told how Lever had been drinking to excess that night and was “clearly not in control of his faculties”.
He added that the stolen boots had been recovered and that the stash of cannabis discovered by police was “extremely modest”.
Magistrates handed Lever a six-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £85 towards prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.