A THIEF who stole diesel from businessman Andrew Woodhouse’s yard was back in court again yesterday for a similar offence.

Timothy Cross pleaded guilty at Newport Magistrates’ Court to stealing a quantity of diesel.

Last June Cross, 31, of Tenby Lane, Thornwell, Chepstow, and Kevin Green, 52, of Charles Edward Close, Abergavenny, pleaded guilty at Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court to stealing £50 of diesel fuel in two jerry cans belonging to Andrew Woodhouse.

Cross also admitted possessing 0.3 grams of class B drug cannabis on the same day.

When business owner Andrew Woodhouse, 43, caught him and Green in the act he acted in self-defence and left Green with two broken legs and a broken forearm — Mr Woodhouse was later cleared of causing grievous bodily harm in just 20 minutes by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court.

Yesterday the court heard how on Sunday, March 23, Cross again stole a quantity of diesel, said to be around 50 litres, on Dewstow Road, Caldicot.

Ruth Hale, prosecuting, said that Cross had seen the diesel earlier that day and decided to go back to steal it but was prevented by Gwent Police officers who located the two drums of diesel and cautioned Cross.

The victim of the theft and the value of the diesel is not known.

Terry Vaux, for Cross, said that he should be given credit for his early guilty plea and that he was “simply tempted” to steal the diesel.

In mitigation Mr Vaux said: “He is existing on Job Seeker’s Allowance. He saw the diesel and fell to temptation.”

He added that Cross had been remanded in custody overnight which could count towards punishment.

District Judge Jim Davies said he would give full credit to Cross’ early guilty plea.

“You do have previous convictions for dishonesty and the last such conviction was in June last year which was dealt with by way of a fine,” he said.

“The aggravated aspect of this is that this was a premeditated decision to go back and steal it.”

Judge Davies fined Cross £120, £85 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge, of which £5 a fortnight will be deducted from his Job Seeker’s Allowance.