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Jail for Armagh man who stole alcohol and food from local supermarkets

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man who stole items including Buckfast, beer and steak from local stores has been sentenced to two months in prison.

The 21-year-old’s solicitor told court: “No planning went into this. He was simply doing it to get some food and unfortunately drink.”

Jason Hughes, of Corrigan Court, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft and criminal damage at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, where he appeared via videolink from Maghaberry.

It was heard that these offences were accrued over three separate incidents in April of this year.

On April 13, at around 8pm, the defendant along with another male were observed placing items into carrier bags at the Fruitfield Eurospar in Richhill.

When confronted by security as they attempted to leave Hughes ran off with goods to the value of around £50, including beer, steak and sweets.

The other male did not make off and paid for the items which he had placed in his bag.

Hughes was later identified by police from CCTV footage and when interviewed the defendant made no comment.

On April 24, Hughes entered the Deansbridge Centra where he stole two bottles of Buckfast and one can of Dragon Soop valued at £20.97.

He was observed by staff knocking over another can of Dragon Soop to the floor.

Later that same day, at around 8pm, Hughes returned this time lifting a bottle of Buckfast and placing it down his trousers.

When approached by staff he refused to return the item before leaving the store.

Once more the defendant was identified by police after they viewed CCTV footage.

He was interviewed at Musgrave police station but made no comment.

Defence solicitor Conor Downey stated: “He fully accepts his culpability. It was outlined early on to prosecution that he wished to enter a guilty plea.

“You can see from his record to find his last theft you have to go back to 2015. At the time he had just been released from custody but had not been able to take up residence with his parents.”

He explained: “His mother and father have a younger son. They have their own problems with alcohol and substance abuse which they are dealing with.

“They were informed by Social Services that it was not a good idea for Jason Hughes to return to the family home.”

Mr Downey said: “He realises there is going to be an inevitable result. No planning went into this. He was simply doing it to get some food and unfortunately drink.”

Hughes was sentenced to two months in prison for the offences.

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