AN alcoholic produced a machete from beneath his jacket after stealing lager from a Southampton shop.

Serial offender Paul Grant grabbed four cans and when challenged produced the weapon with a 12in blade for two or three seconds before putting it away.

Prosecutor Tammy Mears told the city crown court the shopkeeper Zoe Higgins was initially alarmed at what she saw.

Grant remained in the shop for another 10-15 minutes chatting to the storekeeper before her husband, who knew Grant, drove him home.

While he was away, Mrs Higgins rang her mother who called the police.

Grant, 33, of Ellwood Avenue, admitted theft and possessing a bladed article.

Judge Peter Ralls QC heard Grant had 27 previous convictions for 77 offences.

Jailing the father-of-three for 12 months, he accepted Grant had not produced the machete in a threatening manner.

The prosecution accepted Grant’s denial of robbery.