A 50-YEAR-old Romanian man, driven to Whitchurch by the gang of gipsies who brought him to the UK and forced him to steal from a town centre store on their behalf, has been jailed.
Adrian Moise of Harnall Lane Estate, Coventry, pleaded guilty to the theft of DVDs from Tesco’s, Whitchurch valued at £172.82 on June 10, and was sentenced to three months in prison, having only recently completed an earlier 28 day prison sentence.
Kate Price, prosecuting, said when the alarms sounded at Tesco, staff approached Moise and in the black bag he was carrying, discovered a foil-lined cardboard compartment containing 11 security-tagged DVDs.
Moise was arrested and during interview described to police how he had been collected from his home in Coventry by Romanian gipsies to who he owed 1,100 Euros for bringing him to the UK.
Moise told police one of the men from London had arrived in Coventry and driven him to Whitchurch, before giving him the black bag, selecting the DVDs and telling him to take the bag from the store.
Gavin Mckenzie defending, stressed to the court that in interview Moise had cooperated with police, naming the person involved: “He is not at all happy about the situation in which he has found himself,” he told magistrates, explaining Moise has a wife and children in Romania where he had lost his job as a painter and decorator after developing significant problems with his eyesight as a result of diabetes.
“He was given the offer of transport to the UK and work and has been in the country for nine months working cash-in-hand,” Mr Mckenzie told the court.
“He is 50-years-old and had no convictions in Romania. He is keen to get back to there, but has been unable to get any assistance from the embassy.
“Even if you think the person who organised him is part of an organised gang, Mr Moise is not the organiser. He is in the clutches of people who are not going to do him or us any good.”
An extract from a police statement read to the court, described Moise as ‘good-as-gold’ and praising his cooperation in identifying the other man, but sentencing Moise to an immediate three month prison sentence. Magistrates told him, “This is your second offence in 23 days, this is organised crime and you went equipped for theft.”