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‘Prolific thief’ stole £25 from begging man leaving him ‘upset and threatening suicide’

'Second to stealing from a baby, this is about as mean an offence as one can commit'

Hand beg

An Armagh woman who stole from a male she knew, who was “begging”, has been given a chance to avoid custody as her sentencing has been deferred.

Ordering the 28-year-old to pay £25 compensation, the district judge commented: “Second to stealing from a baby, this is about as mean an offence as one can commit.”

Rebekah Jane Crockett, of Glenside, pleaded guilty to a single count of theft at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Upon inspecting the defendant’s record, District Judge Bernie Kelly commented: “She’s a prolific thief.”

Prosecution outlined that on September 16, police were called to Home Bargains in Portadown after reports of a male in the store threatening to harm himself.

Officers spoke with the male and he explained that a female, known only to him as Rebekah from Armagh, had stolen £25 in cash from him.

Police located this defendant, matching the information, and she was subsequently arrested.

In custody, £1.55 in change was located on Crockett’s person, which she admitted to having taken from the injured party.

When interviewed about the offence, the defendant adopted a ‘no comment’ stance.

Defence Mr Conor Lunny explained that the two parties had known each other and that the injured party had been begging when his client took the cash from him.

District Judge Kelly stated: “In his vulnerable state, she stole from him and was left so upset that he was threatening suicide….that is a horrible thing to do.”

Commenting on the behaviour of the defendant, she said: “Did you pray for him? Did you clasp your hand on his at his plight? No you did not.”

Mr Lunny stated that his client had a heroin problem for “quite some time” and accepted that this was a “mean offence”.

Judge Kelly commented: “Second to stealing from a baby, this is about as mean an offence as one can commit….if someone had sent you to prison, around 2013 say, how many people would be saved from the misery of her stealing?”

The district judge ordered Crockett to pay compensation of £25 and deferred sentencing in the matter until August 26.

The defendant was instructed to continued with the methadone programme and not come to the attention of police during that time.

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