A talented young ex-footballer has found himself in a vicious cycle of drug-taking and prison time, a court heard.

Layton Vallance, of Pen y Bryn, was produced in custody at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Monday morning.

The 24-year-old admitted three shoplifting offences and a burglary, all of which took place last week in Wrexham city centre.

Adam Warner, prosecuting, told the court that of the shoplifting incidents, one took place at One Below in Regent Street on Wednesday (November 22).

He entered the store and hid items in his jacket before leaving with them.

Later that day, he entered B&M Bargains and paid for some low value items - but not for others, which he took.

Then, the following morning, he went back into One Below and took more items.

At around 3am on Friday (November 24), he went to the Sainsbury's petrol station and used a brick to break the reinforced window at the night pay point.

He got inside and stole goods including vapes and Jack Daniels.

The Leader: Layton Vallance (NWP)Layton Vallance (NWP) (Image: North Wales Police)

Mr Warner told the court Vallance has some 63 previous convictions for 171 offences - a vast number of those being shoplifting.

He was last before the court in August and received a 23-week sentence of imprisonment for burglary and shoplifting.

And he'd not long been released on licence for that sentence when he committed these latest crimes.

Mr Warner told the court Sainsbury's had reported a loss in revenue of £41,000 due to the incident, but added that the garage had only been shut for an eight hour period - and questioned the level of loss. He sought compensation for the stolen goods only.

Melissa Griffiths, defending, told the court: "He was a very talented footballer as a youth and had two caps for playing for Wales.

"It's a great shame that someone with such great potential has found himself in this cycle of going to prison, getting out, getting drugs and going back into prison.

"He knows that has to change.

"He was only released [from custody] on Monday (November 20) - and is stealing items to get money to fund his drugs habit. He's been honest about that.

The Leader:

"I have spoken to probation and he is to be recalled, so he's going back to prison whatever happens today in court.

"But the net effect is that the court has only one sentence option open to it today - an immediate custodial sentence."

Nigel Gilkes, chairman of the magistrates, told the defendant: "This burglary and the thefts are serious offences - you recognise that.

"We appreciate you have been honest and it appears you are in a cycle at the moment of committing offences and going to prison.

"It's in your hands to break that cycle and we sincerely hope you do."

Vallance was handed a six month custodial term to run concurrently with his period of recall.

He must pay compensation of £128 to Sainsbury's, £78.86 to B&M and £107.12 to One Below.