A THIEF with a history of targeting fruit machines was caught at a city centre amusement arcade where he returned after stealing £1,000 the day before.

Liam Dorrian and a partner in crime pocketed the cash by using a metal “strimming device” to tamper with gaming machines at Stardust Amusements in Newport.

Tom Roberts, prosecuting, told Cardiff Crown Court how the pair had used the tool to release £1 coins at the Commercial Street arcade.

He said one of the men acted as a lookout while the other went about taking money out of slot machines.


But the penny soon dropped for a manager at Stardust Amusements and he hit the jackpot when he studied CCTV footage capturing them at work.

After getting away with around £1,000 on February 19, 2020, they were arrested when their luck ran out.

They had returned to have another a go 24 hours later and police recovered the strimming device they had brought with them.

Dorrian, 52, of Parkfield Road, Kingsteignton, Devon, pleaded guilty to theft and going equipped for theft.

His accomplice and co-defendant was dealt with in separate proceedings.

Mr Roberts said Dorrian had 39 previous convictions for 85 offences.

The prosecutor told the court: “He has been partaking in this type of theft for around 25 years.”

Dorrian’s first “strimming” conviction took place back in 1996.

By committing his current offences, the defendant was in breach of a 20-week suspended prison sentence for battery and public disorder.

Stuart John, mitigating, said his client’s life was spiralling out of control last year and he had found himself homeless.

Dorrian was “abusing alcohol” and was desperately in need of money.

But, his lawyer added: “The defendant now has accommodation and a job.”

Mr John urged the court not to send him straight into prison which would lead him “back to square one”.

The judge, Recorder Greg QC, told Dorrian: “This was a relatively sophisticated offence and something you have done in the past.

“Your record is atrocious.”

He said he was prepared to give the defendant a chance to turn his life around.

Dorrian was jailed for six months, suspended for 18 months.

The defendant must carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and complete a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was sentenced to an additional 40 hours of unpaid work for being in breach of the suspended sentence.

Dorrian has to pay £500 in compensation to Stardust Amusements, £400 towards prosecution costs and a £122 victim surcharge.

Before he left court, Recorder Bull told him: “You are very lucky. Be careful.”