A Portadown man who was caught on CCTV trying to smash ‘safe boxes’ containing expensive perfume has been handed a suspended prison sentence.
The 49-year-old’s solicitor branded the act the “most unsophisticated and crude form of shoplifting”.
Paulo Jorge Ribeiro, of Queen Street, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, two counts of criminal damage and attempted theft at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Court heard that on October 12, 2017, a security guard at an Asda store found two damaged ‘safe boxes’. It was explained these are the boxes which encase expensive items.
He viewed CCTV which showed the defendant smashing two safe boxes on the ground to retrieve bottles of Vera Wang perfume on October 9.
Ribeiro was also seen transfer meat to the value of £19.75 from a basket to a bag he had on his person before leaving the store without paying.
Court heard the defendant returned on October 25 stealing three bottles of Vera Wang perfume, one of FCUK fragrance and one David Beckham aftershave.
Ribeiro was arrested when he was recognised at the store on October 27 and had tried to steal more meat valued at £3.39.
Court heard the total value stolen was £295.25 with the damaged safe boxes being valued at £43.41 each.
Defence solicitor Conor Lunny informed court the defendant, who had a record in England, had come to this country to escape drug and alcohol addiction.
He added that Ribeiro had ceased taking both and had gained temporary employment since arriving.
Mr Lunny branded the offence “the most unsophisticated and crude form of shoplifting”.
District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “This is a very serious matter; irrespective of the unsophistication this was a fairly premeditated offence.
“You sought to garner as many goods as you could to sell on for money to buy drugs and alcohol.”
However, she added that the defendant had stayed out of trouble, with regards to drink and alcohol since the incident.
Ribeiro was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years.
In addition, he was also ordered to pay compensation of £383.87 to the Asda store within four weeks.