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Man who stole £1,700 from parking metres caught after DNA discovered on one

A man who stole almost £1,000 from Co. Armagh parking meters has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Court heard that since the offence in 2015, the 28-year-old had built a life for himself in Holland.

Georgica Flocea pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and two of criminal damage at Craigavon Magistrates’ on Friday.

It was heard that this related to damaging of two NSL parking meters and the stealing of £946.60 therein, between November 3 and December 3, of 2015.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson stated that an International Arrest Warrant had been out in the defendant’s name with regards to this type of offence.

He informed the court that Lurgan PSNI had checked two parking meters which had been damaged and found Flocea’s DNA on one of these.

It was heard the estimated damage and amount stolen came to £1,750.60.

Mr Thompson said: “Mr Flocea has now settled in Holland; he had a family there and a job as a veterinary assistant”.

Court heard that the defendant had brought £751 with him and had lodged a further £1,000 with his solicitor.

Mr Thompson commented: “That will be an overpay of 40-pence but we won’t be expecting the change”.

He finished by saying: “There is very little to this, Mr Flocea came to Northern Ireland to look for work, he was unsuccessful in doing this but was told about this kind of enterprise.

“It did not work out for him either as he cut himself and was caught, since then he has moved on with his life”.

Deputy District Judge Peter Magill stated: “You have entered a plea of guilty, I give you credit for that, along with the money that is to be paid and your clear record”.

He told Flocea: “I will not be sending you to jail today, I will allow you to go back to Holland but these are serious charges”.

The defendant was sentenced to two months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to pay £1,750.60 as restitution within four weeks.

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