A SHOPLIFTER helped steal £500 of baby milk and then watched as his brother attacked supermarket staff.

John Stokes was part of a four-man gang who went on a shoplifting spree at Sainsburys and Morrisons in Rhyl on February 7 last year.

The men made off with £618 worth of goods from Sainsburys, including the consignment of baby milk, which was loaded from a trolley into a getaway car.

At Morrisons they had collected £465 worth of shopping when they were spotted by a security guard who tried to stop them leaving.

Stokes’ brother, Patrick, attacked him and also punched a store manager in the face and kicked him as he lay on the ground.

Prosecuting barrister Karl Scholz said it was a shoplifting expedition in which there had been “some degree of planning” and that John Stokes had committed the offences while he was the subject of two community orders.

His role involved filling the trolleys with items, but he was not involved in the violent struggle in which the store staff were assaulted.

That resulted previously in a 21-month jail sentence for Patrick Stokes, 29, of Gypsy Lane, Irchester, Wellinborough after he admitted robbery and theft. Tony Stokes received an 18-month custodial sentence, again, in a previous hearing.

John Stokes, 26, of Belhill Gardens, Salford pleaded guilty to two counts of theft at Mold Crown Court and his counsel, Victor Wozny, said: “He is illiterate and suffers from depression and anxiety. His mitigation is that he didn’t commit robbery and that was never in his mind.”

Jailing Stokes for a year, Judge Niclas Parry said: “You came to North Wales to target retail premises. People think North Wales is an easy target.

“You acted as a group and violence resulted. It was a serious case of shoplifting.”