A Craigavon man who stole seven pairs of Sony headphones from Tesco in Portadown has been sentenced to seven months in custody.
Jason Hughes, of Hillcrest Mews, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
The 25-year-old, who appeared via videolink from Maghaberry, was charged with one count of theft.
At the outset of the hearing, the charge was read out and Hughes was asked if he wished to opt for trial or have the case dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court, to which he replied: “This court.”
He was then asked whether he was guilty or not guilty, replying “guilty”.
The defence barrister, Conor Lunny, conceded that this had occurred five weeks after he had been sentenced to five months for a similar offence.
The court heard that on February 20 this year, police received a report from a manager at Tesco Portadown, who said that on February 17, a male had entered the store, went directly to the entertainment section and lifted seven pairs of Sony earphones to the value of £250.
He then pulled the security tags off and placed the earphones into his pockets. He left the store making no attempt to pay.
Whilst police were on the phone with the reporting person, the defendant then entered the store again. He was positively identified and detained until police arrival.
The defendant was then conveyed to Banbridge custody suite, interviewed and denied the allegation of theft.
Mr Lunny conceded that the initial denial was not “altogether helpful”.
District Judge Bernie Kelly, presiding, stated that this was a “serious offence”.
Speaking to the defendant, she stated: “It occurred just a short time after you had received an immediate custodial sentence for the same type of offence.
“And that sentence had been imposed a short time after you had received an immediate custodial sentence for a much more serious offence of dishonesty.”
She added: “If you keep this up, you’ll end up serving a life sentence by instalments.”
District Judge Kelly imposed a sentence of seven months in custody, to run consecutively with the current sentence that he is serving, as the offence was committed after the two previous sentences were imposed.
“There has to be some sort of penalty for behaving consistently in this fashion,” District Judge Kelly concluded.
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