An 'impulsive' thief has been ordered to pay £204 after stealing a Wales Air Ambulance charity collection from an Aberporth shop.

William Brian Davis, aged 45, of 15 Vetch Close, Pembroke, appeared before Aberystwyth magistrates on Wednesday.

He pleaded guilty to stealing a money bag containing £24 from the Londis store at Aberporth, on May 21.

Dennis Davies, prosecuting, told the court the money was being collected for the Wales Air Ambulance, and was kept in a bag near the till.

The bag was discovered missing at 6pm, and staff viewed CCTV footage which showed a man leaning over the counter and taking the money. He was recognised as an employee of the recycling company which had collected from outside the store that day, and had gone into the shop to buy food, while his colleague emptied bins outside.

Alison Mathias, defending, said: “He is extremely embarrassed and ashamed of his actions.”

She added that there was nothing on the clear plastic bag to indicate it was a charity collection, and her client thought someone had left it there.

She said: “He did not need the money and had £80 in his wallet to pay for any purchase. He realises it was foolish, and says it was the worst mistake of his life.”

The court heard that Davis, a father-of-three, had now lost his job with the company, and his wife was having to support the family.

Miss Mathias added: “He wants to repay the money, and the fact that it was for charity makes it worse. I suggest it was money of low value, and it was an impulsive act by Mr Davis.”

Davis was fined £75 and ordered to pay £24 compensation, plus £85 court costs and a £20 victim surcharge.