A Portadown man who shouted abuse at staff in Boots after stealing a cream has been sentenced to five months in jail.
Robert Gerard McCamley, of Edward Street, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court via videolink from Maghaberry.
The 39-year-old was charged with theft, common assault and possession of a Class C drug.
At the outset of the hearing, McCamley was asked, in respect of the theft charge, if he wished to go for trial by jury or be dealt with in the magistrates’ court.
He replied: “this court” and pleaded guilty to all three charges.
The court was then told that on August 23 this year, police attended Boots chemist and spoke to staff who alleged that the defendant had entered the store, was removing items from shelves and placing them in his pocket.
A sales assistant approached the defendant and asked him if he required any help, at which point he became “aggressive and confrontational”, approaching her shouting verbal abuse, “putting her in fear of violence”.
He then left the store, making no attempt to pay for the items. It was believed he had taken two packets of face wipes and a hand cream valued at £5.30.
When the defendant was detained, a search of his person revealed a quantity of suspected Class C drugs. Full admissions were made at interview with the exception of the common assault to which he made no comment.
Damien Halleron BL, defending, explained that the defendant’s licence had been revoked in respect of an earlier Crown Court entry, with his release date being December 23.
He continued: “This man has a significant polysubstance drug addiction, there’s no doubt about that. You can see it on his criminal record.
“There have been various attempts by Mr McCamley to try and break free of a cycle of becoming addicted to drugs and stealing as a result of being addicted.”
Asking District Judge Bernie Kelly not to interfere with the defendant’s current release date, in light of a breached suspended sentence, Mr Halleron added that his client had already spent “a considerable period of time” in custody.
Judge Kelly however, said the suspended sentence is there to “try and give someone an incentive to remain trouble-free”.
In respect of the charges before the court, she imposed a total sentence of three months in custody, adding on a consecutive sentence of two months in relation to the breach of the suspended sentence, making a total of five months in custody.
Judge Kelly remarked: “If you keep on this road it’ll only end one of two ways, so if you want to change that pattern going forward, you have to make serious lifestyle changes.”