A Sutton man who headbutted a security guard while stealing Marmite and cheese from the Idlewells shopping centre marked his 60th birthday with a court appearance.
Christopher Parr was drunk when staff spotted him pocketing the items in Heron Foods, on October 11, and he headbutted a guard who came to detain him.
He tried to escape into the shopping centre, and continued to swear at staff as he was restrained. The guard was left with a bruised nose.
The court heard the offences put him in breach of a 12 week suspended sentence, imposed on September 21, for threatening behaviour and racially aggravated disorderly conduct.
Anita Pidcock, mitigating, said: “This man is quite clearly going through some sort of a crisis. This is the second time within a month that he has appeared in court after keeping out of trouble for five years.”
She said Parr had sought help for mental health problems from his GP.
“The spiral was set off by the loss of his job three years ago and then the loss of his flat,” Mrs Pidcock said.
“The real tipping point was the death of his 36-year-old son in July from a heart attack.
“If he had been assessed by probation before he would be further down the road. He doesn’t have to go to prison today. But it would be his last chance.”
Probation officer Sarah Alderton said Parr accepted he has problems with drugs and alcohol, but applications for accommodation and support for his difficulties had been made.
“He admits that he struggles to control his temper when he is under the influence of alcohol,” she said.
“He is struggling to help himself.”
Parr, of Langton Court, admitted assault and theft, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Friday.
Chair Richard Eaton told him: “If ever someone has come within a whisker of going to prison, it’s you.
“Today’s your 60th birthday. Maybe now it’s time to turn things around.”
Parr was sentenced to 11 weeks, suspended for 12 months, with 20 days of a rehabilitation activity. He must pay £50 compensation to the security guard.