A PETTY criminal has been given until mid-February to redeem himself.

John Poppleton, who had got used to short spells in jail, decided he wanted to 'nip his problems in the bud' when he faced a bleak future, Barnsley Magistrates' Court was told.

Poppleton had spent the last 12 months asking the court to be sent straight to prison rather than staying free and getting help, said Philip Stables, defending.

Mr Stables said: "Now, after reflection, Mr Poppleton has realised things have to change. Homelessness and benefits problems are at the root of his offending.

"He has a criminal record which will worry the court. I think Mr Poppleton is determined to nip his problems in the bud.

"He has spent the last three weeks in prison on remand because he did not want bail. His future looked bleak."

District Judge John Foster said Poppleton looked older than 33 because of the life he led.

"You're still young enough to change but no-one else but you can improve your life," he added.

Poppleton, of Sheffield Road, Barnsley, admitted stealing razors worth £88 from Wilkinson.

Chantel Lowery-Green, prosecuting, said Poppleton was caught on closed circuit television and handed himself in when he found out police were after him.

Poppleton was given the chance to prove he was trying to put his life of crime behind him and stay out of trouble.

Sentencing was deferred until February 13.