A Co. Down man who travelled to Craigavon to carry out the theft of over £300 worth of meat has been sentenced to four months in prison.
The judge told the 52-year-old: “These are serious offences, combined they paint a very dim picture.
John Nesbitt, of Killynure Walk in Carryduff, pleaded guilty to five counts of theft, two counts of driving whilst disqualified, two counts of using a vehicle without insurance and obstructing police at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
It was heard that on December 14, security at Tesco Newtownbreda in Belfast reported the theft of a Breville microwave to the value of £99.99.
The defendant was seen on CCTV enter the store and take the item without paying before leaving in a Volkswagen van.
On December 18, police stopped Nesbitt driving the same van on the Northway, Craigavon, outside Rushmere shopping centre.
Checks revealed that the defendant was a disqualified driver and that there was no active insurance policy on the vehicle.
Inside the van, officers found £317.32 worth of meat from various stores in Portadown with no receipts along with a hotplate worth £24.99 from B&M bargains.
During interview, Nesbitt made admissions to all the offences except the theft of the hotplate.
Defence barrister John McCann stated: “This is a man not without trouble, he had been struggling financially, mentally and physically at the time.
“These thefts mostly related to food items and utensils for cooking that food, these were committed out of desperation”.
He continued: “Mr Nesbitt struggles with his mobility suffering from sciatica, he has struggled with alcohol on an off along with recently having a mental breakdown.
“He was also abducted as a younger man during the early ’90s and suffers from PTSD as a result”.
Mr McCann stated: “This was a plea at the earliest opportunity and it was never going to trouble the court”.
District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “Mr Nesbitt, these are serious offences, combined they paint a very dim picture.
“You travelled from from Newtownbreda to Craigavon, which is not exactly down the road, to commit these offences.”
She added: “I am not convinced that this was done out of desperation, otherwise you have an exceptionally poor diet how were you planning on eating £300 worth of meat.”
Nesbitt was sentenced to four months in prison and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.