A MAN accused of stealing hundreds of pounds worth of groceries from supermarkets in Crewkerne and Yeovil denied the offences when he appeared in court.

George Alin Balaur allegedly went to the Lidl stores in both towns on the same day along with two other males and helped himself to the items before making off without paying.

The 27-year-old defendant, of Barnwood Close, Redditch, was brought before Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil in custody after being arrested by the police.

He pleaded not guilty to stealing groceries and other sundry items worth £345.95 from Lidl in Crewkerne on January 25.

He also denied the theft of items valued at £805.92 from Lidl in Yeovil on the same date.

Prosecutor Emma Lenanton said that Balaur was said to have been part of a gang of three males involved in the offences, although the allegations against the other two had since been withdrawn.

Defending solicitor Sam Morton said that the defendant denied being involved in the thefts and denied going to either of the two stores on the date alleged.

Balaur elected to stand trial at Taunton Crown Court and the case was adjourned until April 23 when he must appear before a pre trial hearing there.

In the meantime he was released by the magistrates on unconditional bail.