A thief, caught on camera stealing cash from an elderly Milford Haven woman while pretending to go to the toilet, has avoided a prison sentence.

Graham Leslie Iddison, of Bakers Court, Powlett Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Tuesday, December 10.

Vaughan Pritchard-Jones, prosecuting, said the complaint installed a camera after he noticed cash going missing from savings which he and his 90 year-old mother kept in a bedroom.

Footage captured Iddison entering the room and removing a bundle of notes on October 11, 2018, and it was estimated he had taken a total of around £800, while visiting his partner’s mother.

Mr Pritchard-Jones said: “He had spent £200 and the other £600 was behind the fuse panel in his vehicle.”

Police searched Iddison’s car and recovered the cash.

Mr Pritchard-Jones added: “Clearly this is a breach of trust. The defendant was a friend of the family so he had legitimate access to the property. He had stolen the money while on the pretext he was going to use the toilet.”

The court heard that Iddison, who suffered from PTSD, resorted to taking the money because he was short of funds.

The bench was told that he no longer had links to the family, as he and his partner had spilt up after the incident.

Mark Layton, defending, said Iddison, 55, had demonstrated genuine remorse.

“It’s something he very much regrets and wishes to apologise for.

“It was an impulsive act due to financial hardship.”

Magistrates imposed a 12-month community order with a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was ordered to pay £350 in compensation, a fine, costs and surcharge.

The chairman of the bench said: “You were in a position of trust. You are very lucky not to be going to prison today.”