A MAN who targeted a takeaway where he used to work as a delivery driver has been found guilty of burglary.

Appearing at North East Wales Magistrates’ Court for sentencing, after he was found guilty at a trial on July 18, Kyle Elliot Steven Rowlands, 22, maintained his innocence despite being identified on CCTV by his former employer.

Justin Espie, prosecuting, said on December 27 last year, Rowlands, of Longfields, Chirk, entered Anisa Indian takeaway on West View, Chirk, through a kitchen door before unplugging a till containing £535 in cash and taking it.

The business’ owner found the till missing and when he viewed CCTV he recognised Rowlands on the footage as someone who had worked there as a delivery driver.

A probation report said Rowlands admitted working at Anisa for three weeks last summer but, as he did not hold a valid driving licence, he was working illegally.

Rowlands maintained that on December 26, he had gone to the Chirk Tavern with his girlfriend where he had drunk around five pints of lager before getting a lift home from his cousin.

He said the first he knew about the offence was when police officers knocked on his door a few weeks later.

Rowlands, who was now employed as a labourer, had since had a baby boy with his girlfriend and although he had a number of previous convictions for theft and dishonesty he said these were linked to his teenage years living in Oswestry and his cannabis use and he had now moved in search of a fresh start.

Ceri Lewis, defending, said the main issue surrounding Rowlands’ not guilty plea was about identification from the CCTV footage and he still maintained his not guilty stance.

Ms Lewis described her client as “a hard working young man who is trying to keep a roof over his family’s heads” and added that there was no damage or forced entry.

Chair of the bench, Hilary Wiseman, handed Rowlands a 12 month community order with a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) and ordered him to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,265 compensation to Anisa, £620 court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.