A former RAF man warned of the dangers of ‘Spice’ when he appeared before magistrates for a string of shop-lifting offences.

Steven George Smith, of St Davids Road, Milford Haven, pleaded guilty to five thefts from local shops when he appeared at Haverfordwest court on Tuesday, July 9.

Smith, 47, admitted stealing a £2 milkshake from Home Bargains, two tubs of ice cream worth £8.50 from Tesco on June 15, and £33.91 of groceries from Lidl Stores, Milford Haven, on May 15.

The bench heard that he appeared in Llanelli court on Saturday to plead guilty to the theft of a £3 baguette from CKs supermarket on July 1 and £16 of items from the same shop on July 5, when he was arrested and the goods recovered.

He also admitted failing to surrender to court while on bail on July 2.

Abul Hussain, prosecuting, said: “It is shop-lifting from various stores, low value items were taken.

“He said he had taken food to eat and sell on.”

The court heard that Smith had a previous conviction for shop-lifting in 2010.

Mike Kelleher, defending, said Smith, who previously served with the Royal Airforce, had ‘pretty much stopped drinking’ alcohol during the last nine years.

“Unfortunately he swapped that for taking what was a legal high called Spice.”

“This series of minor thefts was either for food for himself, or to sell to buy Spice, which had effectively taken over his life.

“He is extremely anxious to sort himself out, he says he is sorry he ever smoked Spice.”

Mr Kelleher added that Smith hoped that his situation would serve as a warning to others thinking about taking the drug.

Magistrates imposed a 12-month community order with a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 80 hours of unpaid work.

Smith was ordered to pay £257.41 in costs, compensation, a fine and a surcharge.