A bag thief has been given a last chance to beat his alcohol problem after being sent to a Christian-run rehabilitation centre in North Devon.
Christopher Greenwood, aged 23, has been warned he faces jail unless he succeeds at the Amber Project at Chawleigh, near Chulmleigh.
Greenwood, of Rendle Street, Plymouth, ran off with a shoulder bag after an attack on a student in the street in Plymouth by others in July.
He admitted theft of the bag and shoplifting of alcohol from Tesco in New George Street, Plymouth last month.
He was made subject of a two year community order with two years supervision and a condition that he undertakes a residential course at the Amber Project.
Judge Graham Cottle, sitting at Exeter Crown Court, asked probation officers to make arrangements so Greenwood could travel straight from the cells to Chawleigh.
The judge warned him:”Your problem is alcohol. If you fail to take this opportunity to deal with it you will find yourself back in custody.”
During two hearings at Plymouth Crown Court, the judge heard how Greenwood took advantage of the opportunity when he was a bystander during an attack by a friend on a student.
The victim was a student who was hanging around in Union Street, Plymouth, waiting to start work
at 6 am when he was attacked.
During the incident his shoulder bag fell on the floor and Greenwood made off with it. The attacker also fled but both men were arrested nearby.
Greenwood was not represented at the sentencing hearing at Exeter but Mr Ali Rafati, defending, told the judge last week that Greenwood had been in custody for five weeks and was keen to work with counselors at the Amber Project.