Shop staff were threatened when they confronted a thief with a thirst, a court has heard.

Stephen McHugh, of Priory Road, Milford Haven, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft from a shop when he appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday.

He also admitted using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause fear of, or provoke violence at Lidl Store, Milford Haven.

The court heard that McHugh, 41, stole £47.96 worth of beer from Lidl, Milford Haven and cider priced at £10 from CK Store, Charles Street, on February 4.

Sian Vaughan, prosecuting, told the bench that he became aggressive when challenged at the Lidl store, clenching his fists, calling the staff names and threatening to ‘kick their heads in’.

She added that the beer was recovered, but the cider was not resalable.

Jonathan Webb, defending, told the court that McHugh apologised to shop staff and the court for his actions.

He added: “He was previously no stranger to the courts, but in latter years has been trying to turn his life around.

“It’s not an easy road for him to travel, and he fell off the path on this occasion.

“He had taken a drink, wanted more alcohol and reverted to type.”

Mr Webb added that McHugh had no intention of carrying out any of the threats made.

“He was just being lippy and wanted to be left alone to drink. It was just stupid sounding off.”

Magistrates fined him £40 for each theft and £80 for his behaviour. He was also ordered to pay £85 court costs, a £30 surcharge and £10 compensation.