Defendant jailed for two counts of theft

Defendant jailed for two counts of theft

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

Staff Reporter

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A Lurgan man, who admitted two charges of theft plus other offences, has been jailed for five months.

Appearing via video-link from Maghaberry, the case of Robert Finn, (41), of Castle Lane Mews, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Friday, June 17.

The court heard that on February 10 this year, police received a report from a female that her bank card had been stolen and used at a Spar store in Lurgan.

She alleged that her coat was hanging from a hook in her work at a cafe nearby and she noticed a male sitting beside the coat hangers having a meal.

Another staff member went to collect payment from this male who produced a bank card and it was explained to him that they don’t take card as a means of purchasing.

He agreed to go a nearby bank machine but never returned to pay for the food.

The injured party received a notification that her bank account had been used at a Spar whilst she was still working in the cafe.

Both ladies attended the Spar, spotted the same male who was in the cafe and confronted him. He could only produce an Ulster Bank card with the name of the defendant on it.

Staff suspected that this male lived in the Castle Lane area and confirmed he had bought a £5 scratchcard and a chocolate bar.

Police systems identified the suspect by the defendant’s name and attended his address and observed him sleeping in the living room.

Furthermore, on March 30 this year, police received a report of an intoxicated male at a filling station in Lurgan.

Officers arrived and spoke with staff who alleged that the defendant opened a tin of Pepsi Max and spilt two coffees, with the goods totalling £5.49.

Police located and identified the defendant and he did not have the money to pay for the goods and his credit card was declined.

Defending, John Murphy, of Morgan and Murphy Solicitors, outlined that his client was in breach of a suspended sentence for these offences. It was added that he has learning difficulties and accepts that he put his hand in the ladies coat pocket to pay for items.

In relation to the second offence, it was conceded that Finn was intoxicated and spilt the coffee, but that he apologies for his behaviour.

For the offences on February 10, District Judge Bernie Kelly imposed a two month custodial sentence for each charge of theft, making off without paying and fraud by false representation. The periods of custody are to run concurrently with each other.

For the theft charge on March 30, the Judge imposed a two month custodial sentence.

A previous suspended sentence was invoked for one month.

All periods of custody are to run consecutively with each other, totalling five months.

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