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Romanian Ciprian Petcu jailed for stealing whisky from Morrisons, Mill Way, Sittingbourne

A thief who walked out of a supermarket with a trolley full of whisky without paying is facing deportation, a court heard.

Ciprian Petcu loaded up with 42 bottles of the spirit worth £1,293 at Morrisons in Sittingbourne while an accomplice kept watch.

Petcu stole almost £1,300 of whisky from Morrisons, Mill Way, Sittingbourne

A judge described the theft as “audacious” as he jailed the 34-year-old Romanian for 18 weeks.

Prosecutor Vivian Walters said Petcu was seen on CCTV at the store on January 21 putting the bottles in the trolley and walking out of the doors.

Petcu and the other man were caught by security guards and the police were called.

Judge Philip Statman raised his eyebrows when told the other man was not charged “for reasons which may not be the most sensible”. He was banned from the supermarket.

Miss Walters said Petcu, who lived in London and worked at a car wash, had previous convictions for theft in Scotland and Suffolk and had served a 12-week jail sentence.

Although Petcu was on bail for the latest offence, he was being held by the immigration authorities.

Judge Philip Statman at Maidstone Crown Court

Maidstone Crown Court was told Petcu was not opposing his deportation as he wanted to return to his country to support his family.

The judge said of the latest offence: “There are occasions when someone has a problem with alcohol and steals a bottle of Scotch. This is a man who has stolen a vast amount.”

He told Petcu through an interpreter: “You proceed to steal these bottles of whisky in an audacious way.

“This is a pre-planned and premeditated theft. You know all about stealing because you have been before the courts before.”

Judge Statman said Petcu would serve half the sentence in custody and “no doubt” be deported when released.

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