Sheffield shoplifter Stephen Smith claims he has turned his back on crime - thanks to Superman.
Unemployed Smith spoke out before he was jailed for four months at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court for the crime plus a string of other thefts.
The 38-year-old thief, of Wulfric Road, Manor, made headlines last month when he was caught red-handed by Luke Junior, who was dressed as The Man of Steel for a charity event.
He pleaded guilty to two seperate thefts of bacon - seven packs valued at £10 from Heron Foods in Newfield Green and £40 worth from Jack Fulton - and also to the theft of chocolate valued at £40 from the Manor Top Asda.
Luke, 24, made a citizen’s arrest as Smith tried to flee with seven packs of bacon worth £10 from Heron.
Super crimefighter Luke, Sheffield’s real Man Of Steel, said: “As Superman would say, justice has been done.
“It’s not nice for anyone to go to jail but what he did was wrong and fingers crossed he won’t do it again.
“He’s been saying that he’s learned his lesson. Let’s hope he has and the sentence makes other people think twice.”
The charity worker was dressed as Superman, helping to collect money for a Gleadless skate park when, faster then a speeding bullet, he answered calls for help and made the arrest.
He has also raised hundreds of pounds for Sheffield’s Hospital Charity and children with cancer.
Next he’s hoping to really fly, dressed as his superhero, with plans to do a sky dive and then a wing-suit jump for children in hospital.
Luke, a security offer by day, added: “It’s not the last you’ll be seeing of me.
“The amount of press I got after The Star story was unreal. I’m hoping it will help me with my fundraising.
“And I’ll always be fighting crime, on or off duty.”
Telling how Superman had helped him to mend his ways, Smith said: “Since the incident I’ve started to sort my life out.
“I’ve cleaned my flat out, I’m searching for a job and I’m trying to make some contact with my daughter.
“It might not seem like much but, for me, these are big changes. I feel like I’ve really turned things around.
“I’m sick of living the way I am and a life on the dole is no life for anyone.
“I get £75 every two weeks and I hadn’t eaten in four days. I stole the bacon because I was hungry, not to buy drugs.
“I know I shouldn’t have done it but financially I was in a right state.
“The way the country is in at the minute everyone is trying to do what they can to get by but I know this was a criminal offence.
“I’m happy I was caught by Superman because it has shown me that I need to make a change. I know now that I won’t go back to shoplifting.
“I’ve never had any stability in my life and I’ve always had to try and fend for myself.
“I’ve brought myself up working in fairgrounds and on building sites but I haven’t worked since I lost my job seven years ago.
“Now I’ve been caught I know that I need a stable job and I’ll do anything that pays.”
Smith, who has a four-month-old daughter, says he hopes the changes he is making to his life will allow him to make contact with her.
He added: “I’m different since I’ve been caught and, if I can show them I’ve sorted my life out, maybe that can change.”
But while he was happy to be caught he accused Superman of excessive use of his powers and being heavy-handed with him.
He said: “I think he went about it completely the wrong way.
“I know I shouldn’t have been stealing but, in my opinion, he assaulted me.
“I ran out of the shop holding the bacon and out of nowhere Superman grabbed me.
“He twisted my arms behind my back and rammed my face into a window.
“He had hold of me for about five minutes until the police arrived and in that
time he tried to make himself look like the real Superman.
“Although I’m pleased I was caught, he had no right to treat me like that.”
Smith, of Sheffield, was sentenced for six counts of theft.
Waseem Raja, prosecuting, told how Smith had stolen £10 pounds worth of bacon from Heron Foods, the incident where Superman intervened, on June 22.
The prosecutor said: “There was a large amount of meat missing. The defendant walked out past the checkouts without paying.
“The defendant was detained and a number of packets of bacon were recovered and the police called.”
One of his other thefts included stealing chocolate worth £30 from ASDA on June 6 - which he later sold for £20 to buy drugs, the court heard.
Karen Smith, for Smith, told the court that he was battling with drug addictions and asked for another chance so he could tackle his problems.
Mrs Smith told the court that Smith wanted to re-establish his relationship with his daughter, and had recently got himself a house.
“He has taken the time to sit down and write a letter to explain what’s going on, she said.
“He knows better than anyone that if he gets a chance he is extremely lucky.”
But District Judge Tony Browne refused to give Smith, who was the subject of a community order, another chance telling him: “The offences are petty but they are aggravated by their persistence and that they were committed on community order.”