A thief, with 136 offences on his criminal record, failed to check out of another jail term despite quoting a Tesco slogan in a letter to a judge.
Jobless Kevin Kenny, 39, has been locked up for a year after stealing from three shops in Ilkeston town centre.
In a plea to Judge Michael Fowler, he wrote: “If you give help to one bad lad to turn his life around it will be like the Tesco advert: ‘Every little helps’.”
But, unimpressed, the judge replied: “It needs more than a chatty letter to the judge to make things right.
“You are trying at the last minute to get out of a hole you have dug for yourself.
“The only way you will convince a court is by changing your ways,” he added at Derby Crown Court.
Chris Brewin, mitigating, said: “The thrust of the letter is that he does regret his actions.
“My client has a great deal of experience of the judicial system,” added Mr Brewin, who suggested the court could delay sentence to give Kenny the chance to go straight.
Alex Wolfson, prosecuting, said Kenny, of Longmoor Lane, Sandiacre, went into a shop on Bath Street with a foil-lined bag on October 9 last year.
He helped himself to protein supplement worth £35 but was seen stealing.
He also took meat worth £30 from Farmfoods and a £163 haul of toiletries from Superdrug in the Albion Shopping Centre, admitting he planned to sell the items to pay for drugs.
While on bail, Kenny was caught with a lock knife in the Westfields shopping centre in Derby, after trying to take items from a security pen.
“He has an extensive record of 136 offences, including 76 of theft or similar offences,” added Mr Wolfson.
Kenny admitted three charges of theft and one of having a bladed article in public at the hearing.