A dad says he stole a £1,500 kayak from the roof of a parked van "because times are hard and I need to feed my daughters", a court has heard.

Thomas Robertson, aged 31, took the yellow plastic kayak from a Mercedes van that was parked near a roundabout in Machynlleth on December 12.

Welshpool Magistrates' Court was told police, who were not aware of the theft at the time, noted the kayak when they came across Robertson's white Ford Transit "acting suspiciously" in Talybont, 11 miles south of Machynlleth, but "everything appeared to be in order".

When later interviewed by police, Robertson said: "I don’t remember there being a kayak on my truck. I have no interest in kayaking."

Robertson, of Betws Bledrws, near Lampeter pleaded guilty to the theft of a kayak, which has not been recovered, when he appeared in the dock on Tuesday, June 6.


Kayak owner Georgie Styles told the court through a victim impact statement that the theft has "has made me question other members of the public".

A letter read out in court on behalf of Robertson, who was not represented by a solicitor, said: "Just over two years ago my father passed away from cancer and I have not been coping well. I'm trying to support my two young daughters and another relationship recently broke down. The stress has taken its toll.

County Times:

"I understand I will need to ask for help in future. My family are very supportive. I deeply regret my actions in a time of deep depression. I apologise to Georgie Styles."

When asked in court why he stole the kayak, Robertson replied: "I just did, and times are hard, and I need to feed my daughters.

"I think I need grief counselling."

Magistrates agreed to move the case to the court in Aberystwyth for sentencing, which was listed for Thursday, June 15.

After requesting a pre-sentence report from the probation service, chair of the magistrates' bench Cynthia McVey told Robertson: "I don’t feel sentencing you now is fair to you because we need to learn more about you."