A drug addict stole a holdall on a train containing Ministry of Defence contract papers, a court heard.
Edgars Ledajs, from Norton, took the bag on a York-bound train journey on February 5.
York and Selby magistrates were told that the victim – a businessman named in court – was en route to bid for an MOD contract when the theft occurred.
Prosecutor Katie Varlow said that without the relevant papers – which were inside the holdall – the bid would have been stymied.
Ms Varlow said there were £1,000 of items inside the holdall including electrical circuit boards and clothes.
Ledajs, who pleaded guilty to the offence, stole the bag from a luggage rack but was later arrested when the victim discovered the holdall had been pinched at the end of the journey.
While being quizzed by officers, Ledajs admitted the theft at York Railway Station and said he has having difficulties with drugs at the time.
Ms Varlow added: “He said his head was messed up at the time, so he stole (the holdall) and dumped it near the railway station.”
The court heard that since the offence, Ledajs had been convicted of a drugs matter and shop thefts which had resulted in a prison sentence.
Ledajs, of Priorpot Lane, told the court he had been using a lot of heroin at the time of the train theft but had got clean while he was in Peterborough Prison for the shop thefts.
He said he was now on a methadone programme – which is used to wean heroin addicts off the deadly drug –and had found work as a stonemason.
District judge Adrian Lower, who was sitting on the bench with magistrates, told Ledajs: “I am pleased that being in custody brought you to your senses and you are now clean, and you have managed to get yourself a job.”
He gave Ledajs a six-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £15, plus prosecution costs of £85.