A DRUNK shoplifter carried out a raid on a Greenock sports store by swiping a trio of Celtic tops — then dropping them as he ran away.

Patrick Duffy woke up from a night-before drinking session and downed more booze before 'finding himself' faced with irresistable temptation in a town centre sports shop.

The 40-year-old thief described the offence as a 'blip' but the town's sheriff court heard that he'd received a fiscal fine only a month earlier for another shoplifting matter.

Duffy wandered into JD Sports in the Oak Mall at around 10.50am on Tuesday and had a brief look around before grabbing the replica strips — worth a total of £165 — and running off.

Prosecutor Lindy Scaife said: "He was chased by store staff and dropped the tops, and they were all recovered.

"When cautioned and charged he replied, 'Guilty, I shouldn't have done it'."

Defence lawyer Aidan Gallagher said: "Mr Duffy had been drinking the previous night, got up and had more drink and found himself in the town centre.

"On the way out of the shop he lifted the three tops."

Sheriff Peter Anderson deferred sentence for three months for Duffy, of Cumberland Road in Larkfield, to steer clear of further trouble.

The sheriff told him: "You might call this a blip, Mr Duffy, but you've had two blips now.

"On this first occasion on July 20 you were given a fiscal fine, then a month or so later on August 28 you're doing the same thing again.

"If you come back and you've committed any more offences you know what is likely to happen."

Sheriff Anderson added: "You may have to give up drink altogether.

"That will not make you a lesser man, it will make you a better man."