A DISGUSTED judge jailed two men on Friday who stole from the guitar case of a blind busker in a city's high street in what he called "this appalling case."

Judge Huw Rees remarked at Caernarfon crown court: "This is how low drugs have made you both stoop."

The theft took place outside the W H Smith store at Bangor last June and the judge was told by Richard Edwards, prosecuting, that video of the incident taken by passer-by Amanda Thomas, outraged by what she saw, had been seen online by more than 100,000. The video was played in court.

Gary Williams, 51, of Love Lane, Bangor, who had denied stealing from 23-year-old Chris Chadwick-Parnell, was sent to prison for 30 months.

Big Issue seller Alan Fothergill, 43, of Plas Mabon, Maesgeirchen, Bangor, who pleaded guilty got 26 months, including two months of a previous suspended sentence.

The prosecutor described how the busker had been playing, his guide dog at his side, when the cash was scooped from the guitar case by Fothergill. He handed the cash to Williams who had replaced £4 - a fraction of that taken - in the case.

In a statement Mr Chadwick-Parnell said that because of the impact he felt he could no longer be a busker, which meant financial problems because he was an expectant father. Playing music had also helped him emotionally.

Mr Edwards said that Williams had 134 previous offences, mainly for theft and similar, and Fothergill 58 mostly for the same crimes.

"They took advantage of a blind man," declared the judge.

Anna Pope, for Williams, said for 30 years he had an addiction to heroin and had committed offences repeatedly to feed it. He suffered from depression and anxiety as well as having accommodation problems.

Representing Fothergill, Sarah Yates said most of his previous offending had been low level shoplifting. In prison on remand he had used his knowledge of nutrition and diet, having at one time been involved with professional football clubs. "He wants to change his life round," she added.

Judge Rees, who heard the normal daily takings of the busker were about £70, told the two men : "Both of you lied in interview, the one blaming the other." They had targeted "a highly vulnerable victim" because he was disabled.

He said : "Your previous convictions are truly appalling. You are both deliberate thieves."