‘FINANCIAL desperation’ led to a Milford Haven man’s foolish decision to steal a bacon roll and assault a shop worker, a court has heard.

David Graham Lewis, of Chestnut Way, The Mount, pleaded guilty to assault and two charges of theft from a shop when he appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday, February 25.

Vaughan Prichard-Jones, prosecuting, said Lewis, 31, went into CKs Supermarket, Milford Haven, at 9.50am on December 28, and walked out with a £1.50 bacon roll in his jacket pocket.

He was spotted and followed by the store manager who asked him to return the item, and grabbed him by the jacket when he walked away.

Lewis caught the store manager on the side of his face as he threw his arm out, and stated he would give the bacon roll back if he let him go. He then ran away.

The court heard that the store manager’s £180 glasses came off and snapped when he was struck.

Mr Pritchard-Jones said CCTV was checked at Food Warehouse, Milford Haven, on January 15, after an empty shopping basket was found in a nearby alley.

Camera footage showed Lewis putting £33.75 of groceries into the basket before he walked out without paying.

Jonathan Webb, defending, said: “He accepts going into the store and making off with the bacon roll. He was followed out by a store worker who grabbed him by the arm. He tried to shrug him off and flailed his arm.”

Mr Webb said Lewis could not remember much about the second shoplifting incident, but accepted he appeared in the CCTV footage.

“It was out of financial desperation.”

“Normally when people fill up a trolley or basket it’s because they do not have any food at home.”

The court hear that the offences breached a conditional discharge previously imposed on Lewis.

Magistrates ordered Lewis to pay £377 in fines, compensation, costs and a surcharge.

The chairman of the bench said: “It was a foolish course of action that you took, it’s going to be a very costly one.