A woman who walked out of Sports Direct in Armagh with £1,500 worth of clothing in two large bags has been sentenced to 80 hours of community service.
The cases of Andrea Maughan (21), of Lakeview Court, Craigavon, and Kathleen Maughan (39), of Ringfort Place, Lisbellaw, came before Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry Courthouse.
Both defendants were charged with the theft of £1,500 worth of clothing belonging to Sports Direct on December 22 last year.
While both cases were due to appear for sentencing, only Andrea appeared in court, so an arrest warrant was issued for Kathleen.
The court then heard the facts of the case in relation to Andrea.
On the date in question, police received a report of a theft at the Sports Direct store in Armagh, which was carried out by two females in a white Ford vehicle.
They were reported to have walked into the store and filled two large bags with clothing, before leaving the shop without making an attempt to pay.
Later, police on patrol on the A4 road towards Fivemiletown observed the vehicle travelling in the direction of Enniskillen. The officers followed the vehicle to Lisbellaw, where it was stopped upon entering the main street.
Police spoke to the driver, who identified herself as Kathleen, with the rear seat passenger identified as Andrea. Both matched the description given by staff in the shop.
Police conducted a search of the vehicle and located two Sports Direct bags with a “large amount” of clothing in them with labels attached.
Both females were arrested for theft.
A search of the females’ homes then took place and a number of items were seized.
Both defendants were taken to Omagh custody suite where they were interviewed for theft and made admissions. However, they denied that any of the seized items were stolen.
The court was told that the items were recovered and fit for resale.
A defence solicitor conceded to the court that the amount involved was “significant”.
He said: “They were caught arguably red-handed.”
District Judge Anne Marshall said that it was a “very high amount” and that the offence was aggravated by the fact that the defendant had received a probation order three days prior to the offence.
Whilst giving the defendant credit for her plea of guilty, District Judge Marshall sentenced Maughan to 80 hours of community service.
She warned: “If you don’t do it you will come back and be resentenced and custody is a very real outcome.”
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