A MAN stole more than £2,000 of clothes from an outdoor equipment store.

Nathan Paul Williams, 27, took coats worth £2,192 from Go Outdoors in Saltney on January 8 and 26.

On the second occasion Williams forced a fire exit to get away and was later found on a train.

Williams, of Burnham Road, Lache, near Chester, had pleaded guilty at Wrexham Magistrates Court to two counts of thefts.

He also admitted breaking a window at his former partner's home in Saltney Ferry in August.

Justin Espie, prosecuting, said that the woman was woken at 4am by Williams knocking on the door.

Williams became irate after she refused to let him in or talk, and walked away.

The woman then heard glass smashing and saw broken glass on the living room floor.

Williams ran away but was found and arrested.

The defendant, who appeared in custody, also admitted failing to attend to court in respect of the criminal damage.  

Probation officer Andrew Connah said Williams told him the criminal damage was a spur of the moment offence, committed while under the influence of alcohol, and he regretted it as soon as he had done it. 

Andrew Holiday, defending, said Williams had thought he would not have to attend court for on that occasion because he had paid for the damage in full. 

Williams, a scaffolder, had been able to support himself over the Christmas period after a period of scaffolding work ended, but was struggling by January and stole the items to buy food and sustain himself.

He was due to start work again in a few weeks, but he appreciated that he should not be taking items from stores. 

Mr Holliday asked the magistrates to consider halving the £1,030 compensation due for the second offence, as Williams took two coats while another person took three of them.  

But Mr Espie asked for full compensation as it had been a joint enterprise, the second person had not been identified and the items had not been recovered.

Magistrates imposed a 12 month community order with an 8pm-7am curfew and 80 hours of unpaid work for each theft, to run concurrently.

There was no separate penalty for the criminal damage and a £50 fine for failing to surrender.

He must pay compensation in full (£2,192) to Go Outdoors, costs of £170 and an £85 surcharge.