An ex-serviceman who stole meat after taking spice has been handed a suspended sentence.

Steven George Smith, of St Davids Road, Milford Haven, pleaded guilty to theft from a shop when he appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday, November 12.

Vaughan Pritchard-Jones, prosecuting, said Tesco staff kept a close eye on Smith when he entered the Havens Head Retail Park store at 8.20pm on July 20, as he was known to them as a regular shoplifter.

He was challenged as he left the shop, but walked away stating he did not have any items on him. CCTV revealed he had stolen a £10 joint of meat by concealing it in his clothing.

Mike Kelleher, defending, said Smith, 47, had stayed out of trouble since the incident.

“He told police when interviewed he had taken spice on that particular day and had very little recollection of what occurred.

“He said he had eaten the meat concerned.”

The court heard that Smith, a former service man, was taking steps to sort out his lifestyle and had engaged with organisations to deal with his substance misuse.

Magistrates sentenced Smith to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to pay £217 in costs, compensation and a surcharge.