A SELF-EMPLOYED roofer decided to get some free fuel when he ran into financial problems.

John Benjamin Davies, 23, doctored the number plate of his Astra car, filled up the car at various service stations and left without paying.

At Flintshire Magistrates’ Court at Mold on Tuesday Davies of Lyme Grove, Buckley, admitted stealing £55 worth of petrol from Tesco at Broughton Retail Park and £60 worth from Tesco at Mold.

He asked for two other similar offences to be taken into consideration – a second at Tesco Broughton and one at Pontblyddyn Service Station.

On one of those occasions, he used a neighbour’s car and filled up some petrol cans.

Davies was placed on a 12-month community order under which he must carry out 100 hours unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £189 compensation with £145 costs.

Arrested and interviewed, he said that he could not afford to put fuel in his vehicle because he had a young family.