A HAVERFORDWEST man who stole more than £16,000 worth of industrial batteries and sold them on for scrap has received a suspended prison sentence.

David Roost, aged 33, admitted stealing 28 heavyweight batteries from a Vodafone mobile telephone mast site at Glasfryn, Fishguard.

Swansea crown court heard his DNA was found on insulation tape.

Hannah George, prosecuting, said Roost, of North Court, worked for a company contracted to Vodafone and he had a key to the site, where batteries were stored as backup should there be a power failure.

On March 30 of last year, Roost used a vehicle to steal the batteries, and later told police he had sold them for scrap.

“He had inside knowledge and there must have been a degree of planning involved,” she added.

Ashanti Jade-Walton, the barrister representing Roost, said the father-of-four had found himself in debt and with a wedding to finance.

“He is the main breadwinner and is still £10,000 in debt. He made a mistake and now feels ashamed at what he did,” she said.

Judge Keith Thomas said Roost, a field engineer, had been trusted with a key and had taken advantage of that trust to steal valuable equipment and to sell it on for a fraction of its worth.

Roost was jailed for 12 months, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, and to pay a £140 court surcharge.