TWO criminals have been jailed for a series of burglaries at Tesco stores in Newport and Caerphilly borough.

Wayne Snell, aged 43 of Trowbridge Road in Cardiff, and Craig McCaffery, aged 40 of Meadow Village in Tremorfa, were jailed at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday for burglaries at stores at Crossways Retail Park in Caerphilly, and Cardiff Road in Maesglas.

Thomas Stanway, prosecuting, told the court how in November 2017 the pair gained entry to the Caerphilly store by cutting through a wire fence and breaking in through a fire door at the rear of the supermarket.

Once inside, both made for the valuable goods section of the store, where they stole £2,300 worth of digital devices.

Snell then returned in January 2018, where he stole £10,000 worth of cigarettes.

In February 2018 both then burgled the Newport store, again via a rear fire escape using a crow bar. Mobile phones and other devices worth a total of £4,500 were stolen on that occasion.

The pair were identified through a hat left at the scene of the third burglary by Snell, and through mobile phones found in McCaffery’s possession, and were arrested – McCaffery in February 2018, and Snell almost a year later.

For Snell, Julia Cox told judge Jeremy Jenkins that the financial impact on a business the size of Tesco was small, while also noting the significant delay in the case coming before the court.

“He has two children and at the time of these offences he and his partner were struggling for money,” she added.


Snell’s partner penned a letter directly to Judge Jenkins explaining how her children would be affected by his absence.

For McCaffery, Andrew Kendall also noted the financial impact on Tesco would be “relatively small”, and told the court how his client was suffering an addiction to cocaine at the time, which he has since recovered from, while his last offence was in 2018.

Summarising, Judge Jenkins said both offenders “cannot claim to be of good character”.

“They both have a history of dishonest offending which aggravates matters”, he said – referring to Snell’s 57 offences, and McCaffery’s five.

“It cannot be logically said that the financial impact of these offences is not significant,” Judge Jenkins added. “If that was true, then we may as well let everyone take as much as they want from Tesco, because the financial impact will never be great enough. That can’t be right.

“You both targeted these premises in order to take the most valuable goods and arrived equipped to do so.

“I’ve read a detailed letter from Mr Snell’s partner, but I’m afraid Mr Snell should have thought about the impact this would have on his family before he committed these offences.”

Both pleaded guilty to the burglary at the Newport branch, as well as the first in Caerphilly branch, while Snell also admitted the second burglary in Caerphilly.

Snell was sentenced to 30 months in prison - 18 months for the second Caerphilly burglary and 12 months for the Newport incident - to run consecutively. The first count, relating to the first Caerphilly burglary, will lie on file, meaning a sentence will not be imposed.

McCaffery was jailed for 21 months - nine months for the first Caerphilly burglary, and 12 months for the Newport incident - to run consecutively.