A MAN helped his pal steal £30 worth of meat from Greenock's Iceland store — after going 19 years without a conviction for theft.

Michael Graham, 38, shielded the other man as he placed the food into a carrier bag before the pair tried to flee.

Defence lawyer Aidan Gallagher told the sheriff court: "He was abusing street valium at the time and has no recollection.

"His co-accused was putting meat into a bag and Mr Graham was effectively shielding him."

Graham, of Wren Road, helped steal the meat on May 23.

His last conviction was in 2001.

Sheriff Joseph Hughes deferred sentence until next April for him to stay out of trouble.