A SERIAL Netherton thief has vowed to change his ways and stay on the straight and narrow after the birth of his baby.

Martin Bill was caught shoplifting twice from the same Rowley Regis store inside two weeks and after his arrest he tested positive for drugs.

The 39-year-old attacked the Spar store in Harvest Road on July 22 when he took goods valued at £23.50 - Lynda Gudgeon, prosecuting, said.

Then, on August 3, he went back to the store and this time took £85.61 worth of groceries - she told Wolverhampton magistrates.

Mohammed Bassi, defending, said it was accepted Bill had a "prolific" criminal record but he added: "He now has a three-week old baby with his partner and this new found responsibility has changed his life."

Bill, of Cole Street, admitted two charges of theft and was given a conditional discharge for a year and ordered to pay £209 in compensation and costs.

Richard Blundell, the magistrates chairman, told him: "You are a very lucky man. You really need to think about what you are doing - especially since you have a newborn child."

The court was told investigating police officers quickly recognised Bill when they viewed CCTV taken from inside the shop.