A HAMPSHIRE man stole three hot tubs worth more than £1,600 during a spate of thefts.

Thomas Grace raided a B&Q warehouse in Southampton on three separate occasions, a court heard.

The 28-year-old of Barton Road, Eastleigh, made off with the inflatable Lay-Z-Spa Hot Tubs with a combined value of £1,647.

Daily Echo: Thomas Grace after his sentencing at Southampton Magistrates' Court.Thomas Grace after his sentencing at Southampton Magistrates' Court.

A Crown Prosecution Service solicitor told how the defendant gave one of the tubs to his ex-partner.

She was not aware the item had been stolen and later reported the matter to the police.

Grace, who was working as an agency van driver at the time of the offences in March and April this year, also stole other goods.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard how he took three electric shavers, fetching £179 each, from Costco in Southampton.

He also managed to steal three pressure washers from a Southampton branch of Muc-off.

According to Grace, they were in broken boxes with parts missing.

He was charged with one count of theft by an employee and five counts of theft from a shop.

Daily Echo: Stock image: B&Q off Franconia Drive, Nursling, Southampton.Stock image: B&Q off Franconia Drive, Nursling, Southampton.

Grace pleaded guilty during a hearing at Southampton Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Grace has a previous conviction for handling stolen goods dating from 2015.

When his most recent offences were committed he was in breach of a conditional discharge he had been given for breaching a non-molestation order.

Grace was not represented by a solicitor during his sentencing and was allowed to address the court and defend himself.

He said: “Basically I was in a bad situation. From the bottom of my heart, it was very stupid of me. I was in a very dark place.”

Daily Echo: Stock image: Lay-Z-Spa Hot TubStock image: Lay-Z-Spa Hot Tub

He mentioned the loss of his father at a young age and that he was grieving.

Grace apologised and stressed to the magistrates who were hearing his case, “you will never see me again”.

He said he had had counselling and was back on track and out of debt.

The magistrates’ panel, chaired by Mr Nick Hawkins, gave him a 12-month community order and ordered him to pay £85 court costs and £2,305 in compensation.