After walking out of a Tesco store in Banbridge without paying for meat a 30-year-old man ran off when he was challenged.
But he was caught when a police officer recognised him on CCTV footage.
Michal Hanko, Clonavon Avenue, Portadown, admitted the theft of meat valued at £122.88 on March 14 this year.
He was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for two years and fined £250.
The court heard he was seen entering Tesco on the Castlewellan Road, Banbridge, with a trolley.
He put a number of meat items in the trolley and then left without paying. When challenged he ran off and left the items.
Hanko was captured on CCTV and identified by a police officer who knew him.
A defence barrister said he had previously received a suspended sentence at Craigavon Magistrates Court.
He explained that Hanko had an addiction to heroin but had now found employment so there was no need for him to steal.
The barrister added that his client knew he was ‘on the cusp of custody’ but he just wanted to stay in employment and stay off drugs.