A serial offender from Oldham smashed through the window of a shop to steal legs of lamb a month after being released from prison.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard Gregg Ditchfield carried out a series of thefts at stores in Chadderton.

But the 37-year-old must wait longer to discover his fate, after it could not be established whether he has a secure accommodation when released from custody.

He appeared in court to be sentenced after admitting five counts of theft and one of burglary in March and April this year.

Prosecutor David Farley revealed what happened.

He said: “The thefts took place on March 20, March 21, April 9 and April 13 twice.

“The defendant went into Boots chemist in Chadderton and took hair products and toiletries.

“The total value of the items was £14,10.

“He walked in, helped himself to various products and left.

“On April 11 he went to the window of Farmfoods, he broke the window and stole four legs of lamb and left.

“It was at 8am, it was closed, they were waiting to open.

“This was the burglary.”

He added that Ditchfield has a lengthy criminal record going back to when he was 20 including for robberies, battery, criminal damage and he had been released in March 2021 before this offending took place.

Representing the man from Middleton Road in Shaw, defence counsel Imran Majid asked for a drug rehabilitation order as part of a community order.

He said he had relapsed after being released from prison and added a home for his client had been secured in Chadderton.

But when pressed on what type of accommodation it was he said it was provided by a public body helping drug users but could not provide more detail.

Judge Bernedette Baxter said this was necessary for her to decide between a drug rehabilitation order or further time in custody for Ditchfield.

She adjourned the case until next week in order for that information to be obtained.

But she assured Ditchfield she had not made up her mind on the disposal of the case.

She said: “This is either a longer prison sentence than you have received to date, or there is an alternative course.

“I do not want to give you false hope that there is going to be a drug rehabilitation order made.

“What is clear is I do not have the information I require in order to make a proper and just decision.”