A homeless man stole four candles from Boots, in Mansfield, in a bid to raise cash for camping equipment so he could sleep rough, a court heard.
Anthony Dargue took the items, worth £120, on September 18, said prosecutor Donna Fawcett.
Tim Haines, mitigating, said Dargue had been released from prison on September 4, after the charge was discontinued.
“When he was arrested on the last matter all his worldly goods went astray,” said Mr Haines.
“He was stealing these items not only to buy food, but also to buy equipment to help him sleep rough.
“He tells me that if he goes to custody at least he will have somewhere to live. He wants to break the cycle.
“He is in the process of making a benefit claim and has a meeting with the housing officer today.”
Dargue, 41, of no fixed abode, admitted the theft, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Wednesday.
District judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “This is a sad situation. You have your problems but the only person who can do anything about that is you.
“My colleagues in the probation service will bend over backwards to help you. If you refuse to accept help then the cycle will continue.”
He handed Dargue a six week sentence, suspended for one year, and ordered him to pay a £115 government surcharge.
After sentencing, the district judge expressed disappointment, on behalf of the press, that Mr Haines made no reference to the famous Two Ronnies sketch about four candles and fork handles.