A HEROIN addict who stole two charity boxes, and sold stolen goods to Cash Converters to fund his £40-a-day habit, has avoided jail.

Scott Chambers, 27, was queuing at the Big Q Fish Bar, in Whitmore Way. Basildon, and swiped the tins, which were collecting donations for the Fisherman’s Mission and the Lucy Air Ambulance For Children.

While staff were distracted taking orders on Thursday, April 21, he sneakily hid the boxes under his jacket.

Officers arrested him in May after the Echo printed the CCTV.

Chambers of Copdoek, Basildon, admitted the thefts at a previous hearing at Basildon Magistrates Court as well as handling £295 worth of stolen electrical items belonging to Nightfreight Ltd in Wollaston Way, Basildon.

A security guard discovered the items for sale at Cash Converters after Chambers, who was working as a temporary employee, traded them in.

While on court bail, Chambers stole £14 worth of cosmetics from Tesco in Pitsea and failed to return to court, which he admitted.

Seth Collins, mitigating, told the same court on Friday: “He is ashamed and remorseful for stooping so low.”

He said Chambers failed to attend court once because his mother had died.

Alwyn Hollins, chairman of the bench, spared Chambers jail but told him he was in the “last chance saloon”.

For all the offences, he ordered Chambers to complete five months of community service, in which he was required to abide by an electronically-monitored curfew.

He must also pay £85 court costs, a £85 victim surcharge and £15 to each of the charities.

Tearful Chambers replied: “Thank you so much. You will never see me again.”

Amrik Rakkar, 43, who owns the takeaway, said: “I think he deserved to be punished more because stealing from a charity is a really bad crime.”