A Portadown man who stole a £1 bag of sweets and attempted to make off with £21 worth of groceries from an Armagh city centre shop has been fined £100.
The district judge warned the 36-year-old: “On this occasion I am going to issue a fine but if this is repeated you will be receiving a custodial sentence.”
Paul Davidson, with an address in Westland Road, pleaded guilty to theft and attempted theft at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday via videolink from his solicitor’s office.
Prosecution outlined that on September 3, of last year, police received a report from staff at Emerson’s Supermarket in Armagh that at 5.02pm that day, a male had stolen a bag of sweets valued at £1 from the store.
On September 25, there was a second report that the same male had entered the store again the previous day.
He had filled a bag with £21 worth of groceries but when challenged by security he discarded the bag and left the store. These items were fit for resale.
Defence barrister Aaron Thompson stated: “He spent a considerable amount of time in custody during 2019. Upon his release he was living in hostel accommodation and these offences were committed with another hostel resident.
“He has since re-engaged with his parents and is back living in Carrickfergus. This was a very broke period in his life which included a relationship ending badly, which is what the entries relating to breaches of restraining orders on his record are about.”
He also submitted that there seemed to be “a story” behind this offending, adding that Davidson had been handed a conditional discharge for a similar offence.
District Judge Eamonn King stated: “You were given a conditional discharge for a similar matter. On this occasion I am going to issue a fine but if this is repeated you will be receiving a custodial sentence.”
Davidson was ordered to pay a fine of £100, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within four weeks.