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Armagh woman who stole from DV8 and Home Bargains handed prison term

Home Bargains, Armagh

An Armagh woman has been handed a prison sentence after stealing hundreds of pounds worth of goods from two city stores.

Samantha McGuinness, 26, of Lower English Street, appearing before Armagh Magistrates’ Court today (Tuesday) via videolink from Hydebank, was also charged with assaulting a police officer.

The court heard that on October 25 last year, McGuinness stole a navy ‘Parka’ jacket worth approximately £50 from DV8 on Scotch Street.

McGuinness deliberately distracted staff before walking out of the shop past the tills, however, this did not escape the eye of the store manager, who chased after her.

She was stopped at the door and demanded that she return the jacket, which she did.

The second offence took place less than two months later on December 5 at the Home Bargains store on Alexander Road in Armagh.

The court heard how this theft involved a number of people, however, McGuinness along with another man, were seen on CCTV filling bags and trolleys with items from the store.

They paid for a few items but the stolen goods amounted to £179.33.

Her and the co-accused David Connors, of Dunmurry, left the scene before being stopped by police on Lower English Street and the Home Bargains contents seized. Approximately £20 of items remain unaccounted for.

Connors also pleaded guilty, however, his sentencing has been adjourned until February 27.

McGuinness was also charged with assaulting a police officer.

The court heard how she pushed out at and kicked an officer on the shin, causing him minor discomfort following her arrest on December 5.

The defence counsel told the court how McGuinness was a “troubled young woman who has a prescription drug dependency” and was someone with “not the best upbringing”.

He added that his client wants to ween herself off the drugs and “she has not always been able to make the best decisions for herself”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick imposed a sentence of three months in custody for the first count of theft, three months for the second count, and one month for assaulting a police officer, all of which are to be served concurrently.

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