A terminally ill professional shoplifter who ‘does not want to die in prison’ has been treated with compassion by a crown court judge who added no time to his existing prison sentence for new offences.

Gary Davies, 43, of St Teilo Street, Pontarddulais, admitted stealing more than £1,000 of meat from Marks and Spencer and the Coop when he appeared in front of Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, March 16.

The court heard that he had stolen £571.85 worth of meat and alcohol from the Co Op in Llandovery on January 11 this year.

On February 2 he stole £180 worth of meat from Marks and Spencer Trostre, Llanelli. Nine days later he returned to the store, taking £350 worth of meat on February 11.

The court heard that CCTV showed him walking into Marks and Spencer, filling his trolley and then leaving the store.

Davies is currently serving a 32 week prison sentence, imposed by magistrates on March 10, for four separate thefts of alcohol totalling £766 from Tesco and driving while disqualified.

The court heard that these thefts took place between August 7 and December 20 last year. When Davies was stopped in his Skoda Fabia it was found that he had been disqualified from driving until 2026.

The court heard that Davies had previous conviction for 164 offences, 59 of these were for thefts.

Tom Scapens, defending, said that Davies had been diagnosed with terminal stage 4 bowel and pancreatic cancer last October and given between six and 18 months to live. He was already six months into this period.

His chemotherapy has stopped and he has refused surgery, deciding that he would rather have quality of life.

“He has simply said to me that he doesn’t want to die in prison,” said Mr Scapens.

He added that Davies was due to marry his long term girlfriend who was expecting the couple’s first child in August this year.

Judge Her Honour Catherine Richards KC said that Davies appeared to be a ‘professional’ shoplifter due to the pattern of the offending and the high value items he took.

She noted that the offences this year had been committed while Davies was on court bail for similar matters.

She said that ‘imprisonment was the only option here’.

However, she imposed a three-week sentence for each count of theft to run concurrently with the sentence Davies is already serving, meaning he will spend no extra time in prison.

“It seems to me that given these exceptional circumstances, your prognosis and age it would be wrong to extend the sentence you are serving,” she said.