Man was part of trio who took £1,000 of goods

Blackpool Magistrates Court

Blackpool Magistrates Court

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A Romanian man was part of a trio who stole more than £1,000 of goods from two Asda supermarkets on the Fylde coast.

Vitalis Ilie, 27, of Luxor Avenue, Leeds, pleaded guilty to two offences of theft.

He admitted stealing a large amount of chewing gum, chocolate, clothing and food valued at £631 from Asda, Cherry Tree Road, plus the theft of £648 worth of spirits from the store’s Fleetwood branch and failing to answer bail.

Ilie, who had the court proceedings relayed to him by an interpreter, wept in the dock as he was sentenced to a six months’ conditional discharge and ordered to pay £15 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Alison Quanbrough, prosecuting, said Ilie and two other men were seen acting suspiciously in Asda’s Cherry Tree Road store on the afternoon of January 22.

Ilie was spotted picking up two of the store’s bags for life, into which another of the group was seen emptying shelves of chewing gum.

The trio were arrested after failing to pay.

When CCTV footage was checked at the Fleetwood branch, the trio were seen stealing the spirits.

Howard Green, defending, said his client was arrested at Doncaster airport as he went to board a flight back to Romania.

Ilie, who has spent 67 hours in custody, had come to the UK under the misapprehension the streets were paved with gold, but had only found temporary work.

Ilie had virtually asked to be deported when he was in the cells. All he wanted to do now was fly home to Romania.