Would-be shepherd dressed in a suit

Picture: PA

Picture: PA

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A Romanian national caught stealing a £638 haul from Nelson Morrisons claimed he came to the town to look for work as a shepherd - but he was dressed in a suit, a court heard.

Marian Anghel stole huge amounts of alcohol, hair straighteners, toilet rolls and washing powder with two younger accomplices, who then walked off and have not been caught. Pennine Magistrates’ Court was told.

Anghel (59), from Leeds, told police he had come to Nelson hunting a job as he thought it was in the country. The defendant was asked by police why he was in a suit if he was looking for work as a shepherd and he claimed to have left his shepherd’s clothes at home.

Anghel’s version of how he came to be in Morrisons was rejected by an earlier Bench, who told him: “We feel your story is rather unbelievable.”

The defendant admitted theft and received a community order with an 18 week curfew between 7-30pm and 6am and must pay £85 costs, a £180 criminal court charge and a £60 victim surcharge.

Deputy District Judge Alan Jones had asked the defendant’s solicitor Imran Majid what Anghel’s means were and Mr Majid had replied :” Clearly, he didn’t land a job as a shepherd last week.”

Sentencing, Deputy District Judge Alan Jones told Anghel: “I believe there was a relatively high level of pre-planning, you did know what you were doing and that high level goods were being targeted. The total value you were instrumental in stealing was very significant.

“I do accept the two other men were likely to have been more involved in the planning than you and that you were the one that took the risk of being caught. It’s a shame that the other two men weren’t apprehended as well.”