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Portadown man who damaged caravan given eight months to gather £500 or risk prison sentence

The district judge told him: 'If you pay the money you will not go to jail. If not all bets are off'

Craigavon-Courthouse

A Portadown man who caused £500 worth of damage to a caravan has been told to gather the money in eight months or risk a prison sentence.

Deferring sentence, the district judge told the 37-year-old: “If you pay the money you will not go to jail. If not all bets are off.”

Shane Curtis Whitla, of Coronation Street, pleaded guilty to a single count of criminal damage at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on September 20, at 8.50am, police received a report from the injured party that a male was on top of his caravan on Dunkirk Road, Waringstown.

Officers arrived to find the defendant atop the caravan. They spoke with the injured party who said that he did not know Whitla.

The defendant was subsequently arrested and made no comment during interview.

Prosecution informed the court that the total cost of damage caused to the caravan was £500.

District Judge Peter Magill commented that the first issue which needed addressed was compensation.

Defence barrister David McKeown stated that Whitla had “a number of outstanding fines which he is struggling to pay off”.

Addressing the court, Whitla confirmed that he had a fine of £500 which he still has to pay.

District Judge Magill enquired if given time the defendant could pay for the damages and he confirmed that he could.

The district judge told Whitla: “I will give you eight months. If you pay the money you will not go to jail. If not all bets are off.”

Sentencing in the case was deferred until November 26.

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