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Suspended sentence for man who stole bicycle outside Tesco in ‘really mean and nasty offence’

In one of two incidents police searched a bag belonging to defendant and found seven blue tablets identified as diazepam

A Lurgan man who stole a bicycle parked up outside a supermarket has been sentenced to three months in prison suspended for 18 months.

Sentencing the 54-year-old, the deputy district judge described the theft as a “really mean and nasty offence”.

James Patrick McDonagh, of Castle Lane Mews, appeared for sentencing on possession of Class C and theft at Craigavon Magistrates’ on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that these two offences related to two separate incidents, over three years apart.

On August 30, 2017, the injured party had gone to Tesco in Lurgan. He left his bicycle outside and upon his return 30 minutes later it had gone.

CCTV showed a male leaving with the bicycle and through a Video Identification Parade the injured party identified this male as the defendant.

Then on November 26, of last year, police were on patrol of High Street, Portadown, when they observed a male who appeared to be avoiding them.

This was found to be McDonagh and during a search of a bag-for-life on his person seven blue tablets, identified as diazepam, were located. When interviewed, the defendant made apologies to the police.

Defence barrister Robert McTernaghan stated: “Mr McDonagh has had difficult times in his life. To his credit he is not drinking and to his credit having been bullied in his last hostel has found stable accommodation with his brother.”

Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes described the theft as a “really mean and nasty offence”.

McDonagh was handed a conditional discharge of 12 months on the drugs offence, for the theft he was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for 18 months and was ordered to pay compensation of £80.

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