TWO Romanian men caught stealing bottles of vodka from a Clydebank supermarket claimed to have been “duped” into the theft, a court has heard.

Alexandru Cirstei and Dorin Disaglia were spotted by store security staff and identified on CCTV footage nicking the booze from the Asda store in Britannia Way on May 1.

The pair were brought from custody to Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday for sentencing after pleading guilty to the theft.

Both admitted their guilt the day after the incident, and both were remanded in custody for almost a month – a longer spell than expected because there was no Romanian interpreter in court on the day they were originally due to be punished.

Cirstei, 29, of Torogay Street in the Milton area of Glasgow, and 39-year-old Disaglia, of London Road in the city’s east end, were brought back to the dock in handcuffs on Friday after social work backgrounds reports were prepared on both men and after an interpreter was found for the hearing.

Sarah Healing, prosecuting, told the court: “The value of the property stolen was £180. There was full recovery.

“A combination of store security officers and CCTV footage brought this offence to light.”

The booze was described in a police report as “high end spirits”, which Ms Healing translated as “a number of bottles of vodka”.

Defence solicitor Tom Brown, who represented both accused, said: “They have no previous convictions and have effectively served the equivalent of a two-month jail sentence.”

A third man, also Romanian, originally faced the same charge of theft over the incident, but his plea of not guilty was accepted by the Crown.

“Their position is that both of them came here for work,” Mr Brown continued. “Each is staying with friends.

“They feel, to some extent, that they have been duped by the other person named on the complaint, but they both accept that they were involved in the theft of the alcohol.”

Sheriff Simon Pender, noting that the pair had been behind bars for almost a month, admonished and dismissed both men in relation to the charge.