Hard-up Patrick Walsh had just 70p on him when he stole a bottle of Britney Spears perfume to give to his girlfriend, a court heard this afternoon.

Walsh was spotted stealing the £20 bottle of perfume and hiding it in a carrier bag before walking out the shop.

He didn't get far. Outside TJ Hughes in Watford town centre Walsh was stopped by a store detective and said: "I'm gonna go guilty. I'm going through a rough time. I did it - I was stupid."

Walsh, 32, of The Laurels, Otterspool Lane, Watford appeared for sentence at St Albans crown court having earlier admitted an offence of theft and an offence of criminal damage at Hemel Hempstead Police Station.

The court was told that by committing the offence on November 12 last year, he was in breach of a suspended prison sentence handed out to him in June of 2006 for using threatening, abusive and insulting words and behaviour.

Recorder Barry Kogan told Walsh he wouldn't send him to prison but instead extend the period of the suspended eight week prison sentence given to him in June 2006.

The recorder said he was increasing it from 18 months to 24 months so that it won't expire until June of this year.

In addition he said he was going to impose a six month supervision order during which there will a 25 day specific activity requirement which will be organised for him by the probation service.