Two Bulwell men were so stressed by their debts they stole booze from a Mansfield store in a bid to pay them off, a court heard.
Kyle Learmonth and Christopher Place were caught after they swiped two bottles of vodka, and one of Amaretto, from B&M Bargains, on Stockwell Gate, on October 10.
Learmonth, 24, and Place, 39, both of Quarry Avenue, admitted the thefts when they appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.
The court heard Place had been released from prison in July after a conviction for dangerous driving in February.
Sarah Roberts, mitigating, said Place had already been “punished massively”, as his jail term had led to the loss of his job, and the sale of his house, after his wife divorced him.
He was currently “engaging really well” with probation, she said.
Place met Learmonth in a bail hostel, the court heard.
“On the day in question both men had applied for an emergency hardship scheme but were told they were not eligible in Nottingham,” said Ms Roberts. “So they went to Mansfield.”
While they were there, they received calls urging them to repay more than £500 in rent arrears.
“As a result of the stress caused they made the foolish decision to get some alcohol,” she added. “Their intention was to sell it and make a payment.”
District judge Leo Pyle remitted Learmonth to Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing, after a trial for a spearate matter, on November 1.
Giving Place a 12 month conditional discharge, the district judge said: “You think for yourself - don’t get involved in further offending while you’re on licence, or you will go back in.”
Place must also pay £40 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.