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Man who stole £600 worth of goods over six month period sent to prison

A Portadown man who stole £600 worth of goods and meat products over a six month period has been sentenced to one month in prison but has been warned by a judge if he reoffends he will spend a year behind bars.

Ryan Ritchie, 42, of Hartfield Avenue, pleaded guilty to five counts of theft at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

It was heard that on September 19 last year, he stole £90.94 worth of electrical goods and perfume from B&M bargains, he was also charged with four similar offences.

These were on: September 27; £37.10 worth of meat from Tescos; December 18, £419.93 from DV8; February 21, £42.12 worth of meat from Tescos; and on February 24, a phone charger worth £9.99 from B&M.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson stated that Ritchie had been in custody since February and had “less than two weeks to serve on his previous charge”.

He suggested to District Judge Bernie Kelly that a suspended sentence may be the best option for “public protection”.

Judge Kelly commented that the defendant had a “significant record for shoplifting” and given the “innate seriousness of the offence” there was only one penalty she deemed appropriate.

Ritchie was sentenced to one month in prison on each of the charges which were stated to run concurrently.

Judge Kelly finished by telling the defendant that if he were to commit a similar offence she would sentence him to 12 months “regardless of an early plea”.

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