Stealing from Milford Haven shops within a day of a court appearance led to a prison sentence for a ‘struggling’ Steynton man.

Darren Roberts, of Plas Peregrine, appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates from custody on Wednesday, January 8.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of theft from a shop.

Vaughan Pritchard-Jones, prosecuting, said Roberts, 28, went into a Milford Haven shop three times on December 12, and paid for items on the first two occasions.

His card was rejected when he returned a third time, and he left without paying for £24. 63 of goods when told he needed to pay another way.

“He simply picked up his bag and walked out of the store.”

Three days later he attempted to leave Tesco, Milford Haven, without paying for two bags of groceries totalling £76.23.

Mr Pritchard-Jones said: “He was challenged by staff and dropped the bags and left.”

Roberts was arrested on January 7, and admitted both offences.

When asked if he intended to permanently deprive the rightful owners of their goods, he added he had eaten the items, and there was only one way they could have been returned.

The court heard Roberts was dealt with for a similar offence on December 11, and made subject to a community order, but failed to attend appointments.

Mr Pritchard-Jones said: “This offence was committed within 24 hours of being sentenced for a similar offence.”

Jonathan Webb, defending, said Roberts had cooperated fully with police and had not gone into the shops intending to steal.

He added he had been abusing the drug Spice which led to mental health issues, and was among residents who had to jump for their lives from a third floor window when flats on the Mount Estate were the target of an arson attack in August.

“We are dealing with a person here who is struggling. The damage that Spice has done to his mind is coupled with him suffering from some form of PTSD from almost losing his life.”

Magistrates sentenced Roberts to 12 weeks in prison, and ordered him to pay £231.63 in costs, compensation and a surcharge.