Two men have been jailed for stealing thousands of pounds worth of alcohol from a Milford Haven supermarket.

Constantin Anton Cosmin, 29, and Danut Prioteasa, 22, appeared from custody at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Tuesday, October 30.

The pair pleaded guilty to stealing £1,300 of alcohol and groceries from Tesco PLC, Milford Haven on October 15, £881.31 of alcohol from the same shop on October 27, and attempting to steal alcohol and groceries to the value of £586.38 from Tesco PLC Ystalyfera on October 27.

Cosmin, of Dorchester Road, Worcester Park, Sutton, also admitted wilfully obstructed a police officer in the execution of her duty in Haverfordwest on October 28.

Sian Vaughan, prosecuting, described the pair as ‘career criminals’ who had come to the area to steal high value goods.

They were stopped on October 27 when Cosmin’s car was identified as being used in the thefts, and the vehicle was found to contain dozens of bottles of alcohol.

However, Miss Vaughan said the items could not be attributed to the stores targeted.

The court heard that Cosmin, who had similar previous convictions, gave a false name when arrested, but his identity was established by a live scan.

David Elvy, representing Cosmin who sobbed in the dock, said: “You can see from his reaction that he is very sorry that he has committed the offences.”

He added that Cosmin came to the UK to work and support his family, but did not earn enough working at a restaurant to help fund cancer treatment for his mother.

“After his last period in custody he did not think he would offend again. Unfortunately, out of desperation he went back to this form of offending.”

Mr Elvy said the duo planned to sell the alcohol themselves, and were not part of a larger organisation or gang.

“Mr Cosmin would say he is not a career criminal. He has committed offences, but tries to support himself lawfully.”

Mr Elvy said the offences were not particularly sophisticated and the two men had simply filled trolleys with high value goods and walked out of the store without paying.

Mark Layton, defending Prioteasa, of Princes Street, Ballymena, Northern Ireland, also disputed his client was a career criminal, stating he had just four previous low-level theft convictions.

He added that the bottles found in the car could be handed back to the supermarket to reduce the compensation claim and reimburse the company sooner.

The court heard that 23 bottles of Jack Daniels were among the haul discovered in Cosmin’s Skoda Fabia.

Magistrates confiscated the car involved, banned Cosmin and Prioteasa from driving for 17 months and sentenced both men to a total of 40 weeks in prison.

Both were ordered to pay £1,217.02 compensation to Tesco, a £140 surcharge and £85 court costs