An Armagh man who stole a £50 speaker from Tesco has escaped prison despite a suspended sentence hanging over his head.
The district judge commented the 21-year-old had “seemed to keep himself out of trouble for the bulk of the time” of the suspended sentence.
Patrick Pearse Killen, of Corrigans Court, appeared for sentencing on theft at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Prosecution outlined that on November 29, police received a report of a theft from Tesco in Lurgan.
A male, identified as the defendant, had taken a black wireless speaker from the store valued at £50.
Killen was apprehended and the speaker was returned with it being judged fit for resale.
The defendant was subsequently arrested making no reply to caution but during interview made full admissions.
District Judge Amanda Brady stated: “His medical issues, which I am not going to open in court, are clear and there is going to be some difficulty in how to sentence him.”
Defence barrister Ciara Ennis said: “He was previously living with Praxis but that has since broken down. He has now been back with his mother in Armagh for a number of weeks.
“However, I have been informed that everything that was in place at Praxis is still in place, the only thing that has changed is his address.”
She added: “This is a man with longstanding problems with his health. He has spent long periods homeless and is currently subject to a suspended sentence which was still active at the time of this offence.”
District Judge Brady commented: “He was handed that suspended sentence for 18 months in July 2018. It expired at the end of January and it seemed to keep him out of trouble for the bulk of the time.”
Ms Ennis stated: “He has also never had probation before. They feel it is suitable and he does consent to this also.”
The district judge said: “I don’t want to set him up to fail. With his health issues I am not sure if he could keep up.”
Killen was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for 12 months.