A THIEF who “goes off the rails” has been told to choose between prison or living a law-abiding life.

Thief Luke David Jackson, 24, will have to pay compensation to two people he assaulted in his latest series of crimes.

They included kicking a police officer and being violent towards a shop manager.

His solicitor Andrew Craven said the reason behind his crimes were the drugs which he used when he was under stress in his private life.

A probation report said Jackson had not taken chances given to him by probation officers to reform himself in the past.

“You seem to go completely off the rails and start to commit offences all over again,” district judge Adrian Lower said at York Magistrates Court.

He told Jackson to sort himself out.

If he didn't, "there is going to come a point where you just keep coming back before the courts for these kinds of offences. Eventually the courts are going to run out of patience and you are going to go to prison,” he said.

“You have a choice.”

Jackson, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker on the basis he had hit the police officer by recklessly kicking out, obstructing a second police officer by giving a false name, and interference with a motor vehicle, all on Kingsway West, Acomb, on January 2, theft of food worth £4.70 on New Year’s Eve at the Co-op on Beagle Ridge Drive, and assaulting its manager on January 8.

He was given an 18-month community order with 20 days’ rehabilitative activities and 150 hours’ unpaid work. The community order also included an 18-month ban from the Co-op, the second time he had been banned from the shop.

He was ordered to pay £100 compensation to the police officers and £50 to the shop manager.

The district judge said the shop manager had asked Jackson to leave the store on January 8 because he was barred from it at the time.

Jackson was so violent towards her he put her in fear, district judge Adrian Lower said.

“No shop manager should suffer that,” he said. “They have a difficult job to do as it is.”