A 51-year-old man found guilty of stealing from a blind busker was sent for sentence to the crown court on Friday, August 9 after a magistrates' chairman described the theft as "a despicable act on a vulnerable person."

Gary Williams of Love Lane, Bangor, had denied stealing from busker Chris Chadwick-Parnell, 23, outside the city's WHSmith store on June 26.

But Caernarfon court chairman Peter Talbot said they didn't believe his version of events that he was trying to help the busker.

A second man, Alan Fothergill, 43, a Big Issue seller of Plas Mabon, Bangor, has pleaded guilty to a joint theft charge and is due for sentence next week.

Mr Talbot praised a public spirited passerby-by outside the store, Laura Thomas, who was so concerned that she filmed what was going on.

Williams denied to Ceri Ellis-Jones, prosecuting, that he had put a fraction of the cash back in a guitar case to give the impression that he was aiding the busker.

Liz Jones, defending, said the defendant's version had been consistent since his arrest.

The chairman pointed out that his co-accused had stated he was with told by Williams that "he wanted to nick a couple of quid."

In a victim statement read to the court the busker said "I don't feel safe to work outside any more. " He spoke of how music helped his life, and of the financial effect of being unable to busk any more.

Williams pleaded guilty to a public order offence, having sworn at a police officer when arrested and being late arriving in court and was told to pay £110 in a fine and costs from his benefits.

He was bailed until the end of the month at Caernarfon crown court, conditions including not to enter Bangor High Street or approach his victim.

The chairman explained: "Our sentencing powers are insufficient. This was a group action on a vulnerable victim."