A MAN who owned up to shoplifting and burglary told Oxford Crown Court he was forced to commit crimes by travellers.

Martin Judd, of Corunna Crescent, Oxford, was sentenced yesterday after admitting two counts of shoplifting and one of burglary.

The 26-year-old said he was working for travellers who gave him a “shopping list” at the time and feared repercussions if he didn’t go though with the crimes.

He was caught on CCTV stealing £100 of groceries from Tesco Express and £160 of groceries from Budgens, both in Abingdon, on July 17 last year.

Then on September 25 he broke into a house in College Lane, Littlemore, Oxford, and police found a TV, laptop and cash box had been moved.

Sandra Beck, prosecuting, said it appeared Judd had been disturbed before he could bag up the items and nothing was stolen.

Graham Bennett, defending, said last year his client had been made redundant and needed to find new accommodation.

He said: “He was offered somewhere to live at a low rent, but things were not as they appeared. He was expected to work for £20 a day and to participate in what he realised were criminal activities.

“He told the police that during the burglary when he was about to pack up the property of the house he changed his mind and left.”

Judge Mary Jane Mowat handed Judd a five-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He also has one year of supervision, a thinking skills course requirement for 19 weeks and must do 100 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Mowat said: “This sentence is hanging over you now and I hope you take this chance.”