A SCRAP merchant “blagged” his way into an NHS hospital and popular music venue before stealing metal items which cost thousands.

Thomas Williams, 29, pinched air conditioning equipment from Cardiff’s St David’s Hospital and a coffee machine and pizza display unit from the city’s Live Lounge.

The defendant, of De Winton Terrace, Llanbradach, Caerphilly, returned to the Live Lounge in his car the next day and drove off with an oven.

Williams had denied three counts of theft but was found guilty of all charges by a jury following a trial.


Newport Crown Court heard how the defendant had hoodwinked staff during the first two offences committed on November 5, 2019.

He persuaded a secretary at the hospital he was there to pick up air conditioning equipment and was handed a key before stealing it.

The brazen Williams told a member of staff at the Live Lounge he was there to retrieve lost property.

Prosecutor Joshua Scouller said: “This was sophisticated offending – there was a level of deception and planning.

“He gave false accounts to gain access.”

The court heard that although the items had been bought for thousands of pounds, their scrap value would only have been in the hundreds.

Williams had six previous convictions for eight offences, including theft, and had been jailed in the past.

Christopher Evans, mitigating, said his client was no longer a scrap dealer but now worked as a plant operator in Bristol.

His barrister told the court how Williams had a “life-changing experience” with the birth of a daughter.

The judge, Recorder Dyfed Llion Thomas, said: “The defendant blagged his way in twice and the second time at the Live Lounge, he just drove in.”

Turning to Williams, he told him: “You went about these offences in a barefaced manner.”

The defendant was jailed for six months, suspended for 18 months.

He was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,500 towards prosecution costs.

Williams must also hand over a £149 victim surcharge.