Community order for two theft pleas

Community order for two theft pleas

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

Staff Reporter

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Friday 24 June 2022 22:00

A Portadown woman, who pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, has been warned she will go to prison if she doesn’t fully comply with a community order.

The case of Julie Mary Larkin, (43), of Garvaghy Grove, Portadown, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Wednesday, June 22.

The court heard that on August 19 last year, police were tasked to attend the Range in Portadown after receiving a report of theft from the store.

Officers arrived and spoke with the loss prevention officer and CCTV footage which showed two females suspects selecting homewear items, removing securing tags and placing them in a trolley.

One of the suspects was the defendant and fitted the description shown on the footage, which also showed them exiting the store with a trolley full of items without making any attempt to pay for the goods.

Larkin was observed leaving the store, entering a white coloured transit van before driving out of the car park.

The goods recovered by security had a total value of £536.22.

Later on that same day, officers noticed a white coloured transit van being driven by a female in Portadown and she identified herself as the defendant, with a male also present.

A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed 28 homewear type items, majority of these Tesco branding located in the rear of the van.

Neither the defendant nor the other person in the vehicle was able to provide proof of purchase for the goods located in the van.

On August 23 last year, police attended Tesco in Craigavon and spoke with a member of security staff who confirmed that on August 19, a trolley full of items was stolen by two females matching the descriptions of the defendant and her co-accused.

Police seized CCTV from Tesco and recorded a statement of evidence from security.

Conor Lunny, defending, asked for his client to be given credit for how she met the matter and that she has abused alcohol and heavier drugs for quite some time.

It was added that the co-accused in the case has a “far worse record” for shop lifting and Ms Larkin would suggest that other person was the “driving force” behind the idea to go shop lifting.

It was stated that the defendant has no recollection of the events given how she was over that period of time and she has had a positive engagement with probation.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “These are serious offences, chiefly and specifically by virtue of the amount stolen, it’s huge amounts on each occasion and the pre-planned nature of it.

“However, there are a number of features to your case for which you’re entitled to credit. Firstly, your plea of guilty you’re entitled to credit for that, and secondly aside from the matter that was dealt with relatively recently in the Crown Court, your last dishonesty offence I have to go back to an entry in 2004, but I think in fact the actual offence was committed last century.

“Those are positive features, however, you do have an underlying serious issue which strikes me is the chief cause of you getting involved in all the criminal offending you’ve been involved in and that’s your drug and alcohol issues.”

The Judge imposed a combination order of 12 months probation and 60 hours community service.

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