A Newry man who is barred from entering Buttercrane has been charged with burglary after allegedly stealing £250 worth of custom Zippo lighters from one of the shopping centre’s stores.
The 35-year-old is also accused of stealing a bottle of vodka from another store on the same day.
Christopher McGrath, of Cowan Street, appeared charged with burglary and theft at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.
Appearing via videolink from police custody, the defendant confirmed he understood the charges and was connected to the same by a constable.
Defence barrister Michael Tierney made no question to the connection and informed the court that a bail application, which was opposed, was being launched on behalf of his client.
Outlining the case, the constable stated that on August 9, police received a report that 15 custom Zippo lighters valued at £250 had been stolen from a store at the Buttercrane shopping centre, the previous day.
A security guard who watched the CCTV footage identified the culprit as this defendant, who was barred from entering the Newry shopping centre.
McGrath was subsequently located and arrested near the Newry bus centre, and when interviewed he claimed to have no recollection of the incident but accepted it was himself on CCTV.
A further report was then received that the defendant had also allegedly stolen a bottle of vodka valued at £18.50 from SuperValu on Hill Street.
The constable stated that bail was objected to on grounds of risk of re-offending due to McGrath’s “significant record”.
Mr Tierney commented: “This is his first offence in over a year. He is well known in the city and is barred from several stores. He is going through a difficult time with his mother not being well.”
Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter stated: “He does have quite a significant record for thefts but I am minded to grant bail.
McGrath was released on his own bail of £500 with a condition not to enter the Buttercrane shopping centre or SuperValu on Hill Street.
The case was then adjourned until September 1 for an update.
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