Stolen alcohol disappeared before police caught up with a shop-lifter.

Benjamin James Phillips, of Laugharne Close, Pembroke, appeared at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Tuesday, February 5, to plead guilty to theft from a shop.

Vaughan Pritchard-Jones, prosecuting, told the court that Phillips, 38, stole various bottles of alcohol including whisky, vodka and cider, from Pembroke’s Co-operative store at around 6pm on December 2.

The total value of the alcohol stolen was £49.

Mr Pritchard-Jones said: “He then ran off and the alcohol was not recovered. He was not arrested for a couple of days, having been identified from CCTV.”

Mike Kelleher, defending, said Phillips had a problem with addiction and had been working with an organisation to deal with his issues.

“Unfortunately on this occasion he was under a considerable amount of pressure with family problems. He had recently split up from a three-year relationship.

“Unfortunately he turned to alcohol and committed this offence. He realises it was a stupid mistake.”

Magistrates fined Phillips £80 and ordered him to pay £49 compensation to the store.

He will also pay £115 in court costs and a surcharge.