AN out of work joiner who was forced to sell most of his tools to 'keep going' has admitted stealing meat from a Co-op store in Cross Hills.

Skipton magistrates were told Andrew Duffy, 44, had entered the store with a female accomplice on April 11 this year and took meat to the value of £75 without paying.

The couple did the same on April 14 and stole £100.14 of meat.

He pleaded guilty to both charges.

Prosecuting, Mel Ibbotson said the female accomplice had been dealt with at an earlier hearing.

Defending, Keith Blackwell said his client had fallen on hard times. He had trained as a joiner but when Covid started, work fell off.

"He had no work coming in and no benefits. He had to sell a lot of tools to keep going and is looking for work.

"It was not a sophisticated crime and there were no aggravating features," said Mr Blackwell.

For the April 14 offence, magistrates ordered Duffy, of Greystones Drive, Keighley, pay a fine of £80, a surcharge of £30, court costs of £85 and compensation of £88.14.

There was to be no separate penalty for the April 11 offence.