A HAVERFORDWEST man appeared in the town’s court on Tuesday to face a charge of theft. Steven John Simms, aged 51, of Fleming Crescent, pleaded guilty to stealing three storm drain covers to the value of £450 which belonged to Pembrokeshire County Council. Prosecuting, Ellie Morgan said:
“A witness who works for Pembrokeshire County Council had noticed that heavy metal drain covers had been removed. The police were contacted and enquiries were carried out. The defendant was given permission to store scrap metal in the yard behind White and Britton’s around 17 to 18 months ago. The drain covers were located in the yard.
“Police pointed out to Simms that removing the drain covers could potentially be very dangerous. He said he couldn’t remember a lot about the incident, but remembered stealing them to sell on for money for food.
“Theft is a main feature on his record with 60 plus offences relating to it”.
Defence solicitor Matthew Webb said: “Simms entered an early guilty plea. He agrees with Miss Norman’s conclusion of the report, though is a man of few words. He has said ‘I’m not going out pinching any more’. It is a fairly minor but potentially serious case, and he wants to put an end to it”.
The chairman of the bench said: “We consider removing the covers is a very dangerous offence. I’m surprised Miss Norman has this view. We were considering custody. What if they were not discovered and had caused injury to innocent pedestrians?”
Matthew Webb said to the magistrates: “Might I put forward the issue of a drink driver? Getting behind the wheel under the influence of a drug, I find is much more serious and is dealt with every day”.
The chairman replied: “They are not just dealt with by a conditional discharge. They are not allowed to drive for a considerable amount of time”.
Magistrates decided to grant Simms a suspended custodial sentence for 12 months. Should Simms offend again within the next 12 months, a 12 week custodial sentence will be imposed.