A BAFFLED judge yesterday demanded that a shoplifter come clean about his 'extraordinary' obsession with bath oil. Mr Justice Duffy refused to be soft-soaped by the man who had stolen bubble bath from three supermarkets. 'What is this fixation with bath fluid? Why do you want to steal bath fluid?' the judge asked. Nguyen Huy Phong, 26, shrugged his shoulders and with a puzzled look replied: 'To take a bath, your honour.' But Mr Justice Duffy was not satisfied with Nguyen's explanation. The judge grinned as he asked: 'Are you sure you are coming clean about this?' Nguyen was jailed for 14 months in August for the thefts, with an additional three months for being in breach of a suspended sentence. But he refused to throw in the towel and appealed against the sentence in the High Court. In the first two raids, on supermarkets in Castle Peak Road, Nguyen got clean away with four bottles of Goofy Bath Bubbles, one bottle of Donald Duck cleaning bath fluid, six containers of Johnson's Baby Bath, and a pot of Dove cream. Ten days later he slipped into the Circle K store in Melody Garden and stole nine bottles of shampoo and two bottles of bath lotion. Mr Justice Duffy said: 'It is extraordinary.' When asked what he had to say about the matter, Nguyen told the judge: 'My wife left me and I have no friends or relatives to support me. 'This is just one of the ways of supporting myself.' 'By stealing bath oil?' replied the judge. He added: 'You have not given me a satisfactory explanation. If you are going to steal things from a supermarket, why bath fluid?' Nguyen said: 'I didn't know what to steal. This is the easy one.' But when pressed by the judge, the thief said he was able to sell the stolen bath oil to people in detention camps. After considering the appeal the judge decided that the sentence imposed on Nguyen was too harsh. He said the bath-oil bandit had been given six months for one theft and four months for another, which was inconsistent. Mr Justice Duffy reduced the total sentence imposed on Nguyen from 17 months to 10 months. Before walking to the cells Nguyen thanked the judge. 'You could thank me better by not committing any more offences,' said the judge.