A FATHER-OF-FOUR travelled from London to Gwent to steal nearly £5,000 worth of cigarettes “because he was short of money”.

Nicolae Rostas made the 300-mile round trip from the UK capital to target Cwmbran’s Booker Wholesale, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

William Bebb, prosecuting, said the 32-year-old and two women with him were spotted acting suspiciously at the cash and carry at 4.15pm on January 9.

Rostas, of Ingram Road, Croydon, then walked out without paying for cigarettes and tobacco worth £4,598.60.


Axeman who attacked police officer jailed

Gwent Police officer sacked for 'harassing' ex-girlfriend after split​

Child rapist and serial paedophile jailed for 12 years

He pleaded guilty to theft.

The defendant was arrested six months later in a BMW at the Channel Tunnel, Judge Jeremy Jenkins was told.

Rostas has previous convictions for fraud and shoplifting.

Dhaneshwar Sharma, mitigating, said his client committed the offence because he was short of money.

The defendant was jailed for 27 months.