A prolific shoplifter stole three bottles of perfume because he was hungry and needed money, a court heard.
Daron Johnston, whose previous convictions cover 25 pages, snatched the scent on impulse, Plymouth magistrates heard.
The 48-year-old, of Long Down Gardens in Estover, admitted theft of three tester bottles valued at £107 from Boots in New George Street on November 12.
Gareth Warden, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Johnston was spotted on CCTV acting suspiciously.
He was seen picking up the testing bottles and other stores were alerted over the security radio system.
Mr Warden said Johnston was arrested down the street.
He said he told the police he was hungry and had no money.
Alan Harris, for Johnston, said he wanted to sell the perfume to “raise a few pounds”.
He said Johnston had a long history of drug abuse but had cleaned himself up during his latest prison sentence.
Mr Harris said he needed money because his benefits had been delayed and then reduced.
He added the testing bottles were small and were “half-empty”.
Presiding magistrate Lin Martin told Johnston: “You have 25 pages of criminal history.”
But she added that he “desperately needed help”.
The court ordered a probation officer to prepare a full report on his background before sentence.
Johnston was released on bail until December 11 on the condition he does not enter the city centre shopping precinct.