A 23-year-old used false plates on his silver Mercedes to successfully steal £650 of diesel from Skipton supermarkets, magistrates heard.

Miraj Ali was working in Skipton when he stole diesel from Morrisons and Tesco petrol stations over an 18 month period, the court heard.

He was finally traced by police after staff at Morrisons on November 9 recognised the car from an earlier occasion and noticed its front and back registration plates did not match.

Ali, who asked for four other identical offences to be taken into consideration, had continued to offend after being convicted and given a community sentence for other similar offences, the court was told.

Ali, of Peel Square, Bradford, admitted four charges of making off without paying and one attempted between May, 2012, and November, 2013. He avoided an immediate prison sentence after magistrates heard he was now successfully employed.

He was the eldest of seven children and despite leaving school with a number of GCSEs had fallen into the wrong crowd. Since being in trouble, he had run the risk of being disowned by his family, but had sought to turn his life around by getting a job.

He was handed an eight-week prison sentence for each offence, to run concurrently and suspended for a year, and ordered him to carry out 80 hours unpaid work. He will also have to pay compensation of £280 to Tesco and £369 to Morrisons, costs of £85 and a victims surcharge of £80.