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Pair stole tyre from car in Armagh after their caravan suffered a puncture

Police discovered defendants after early morning tip-off to suspicious behaviour

Armagh Courthouse

Two men who stole a tyre from a vehicle in Armagh for a caravan they were towing have been fined over £700.

Armagh Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday that this “relatively stupid enterprise” had been carried out after several members of the public refused to give the pair their spare tyres.

Admitting to charges of theft from a vehicle and going equipped for theft were Simon Doherty, 19, of Co Louth, and Jonathon O’Donaghue, 24, of Co Clare.

The court was told how on July 28 at around 4am, police were called to Rosemount Avenue, Armagh, to reports of suspicious behaviour, along with the description of a white BMW and partial licence plate.

As officers approached they observed a BMW which had the same partial plate and stopped the vehicle.

Both O’Donaghue, who was the driver of the car, and Doherty were asked to exit the vehicle for a search to be carried out.

During this search, officers found a spare tyre, a jack and a tyre iron.

Upon inspection of Rosemount Avenue, police also noted a Volkswagen UP with a rear wheel missing.

The pair were arrested and made no comment when interviewed.

Defence counsel informed the court at the time O’Donaghue’s wife had just had a baby and he had gone to Craigavon to purchase a caravan for around £600.

This, he stated, was to become “essentially the family home”, but on the journey the caravan got a punctured tyre.

The defence said the pair had tried to stop a number of people in an attempt to get a spare wheel but “none of them were too keen on the idea”.

After a while, he said both defendants unhooked the caravan at a local garage and went to Armagh to “source a wheel”.

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter commented: “That’s a whole new meaning to sourcing a tyre.”

He described it as a “relatively stupid enterprise” and “a pretty mean thing to do, given the trouble you have left this person in to get a new tyre”.

O’Donaghue was ordered to pay a fine of £500, along with the offender’s levy of £15, as he was considered the chief architect.

Doherty, on the other hand, was ordered to a pay £225, along with the offender’s levy.

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