A GWENT man who stole batteries from a farm in Llandovery has been ordered to pay the cost of the batteries back to the victim.

Sam Janes, of Upper Race, Pontypool, believed ‘the boss said [he] could have’ the 15 car and tractor batteries, Llanelli magistrates court heard.

A witness, who was working in a shed, noticed two men and a van in the farm’s yard at around 3.50pm on May 18.

When she approached the men, she asked if she could help them, and one of the men told her: “The boss said we could have the batteries.”

Janes then helped this man load 15 car and tractor batteries into the van.

The witness became suspicious when the men had not referred to her husband, Huew Rees, by name, only ‘the boss’.

She called him and he told her he did not know anything about the men or them having the batteries, and advised her to contact the police.

The court heard the batteries had a scrap value of £150.

A probation service representative said Janes had been out leafleting for his business when he turned around in the farm’s yard.

The man he was with had noticed the batteries and spoken to the witness.

Janes admitted the theft but said he was under the impression he had permission to do so.

Janes’ solicitor Huw Williams said the other man involved was still at large.

Janes was sentenced to 80 hours of community work to be completed over 12 months, ordered to pay £150 compensation, £170 in costs and victim surcharge.