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Drunk man who stole purse from behind counter of Chinese takeaway jailed

A Lurgan man who stole a purse from behind a counter in a Chinese takeaway has been handed a two and a half month prison term.

John Thomas Doran, 29, of Church Walk, appeared at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday via videolink from Maghaberry charged with theft.

Court heard the defendant was a serving prisoner who had spent five weeks in custody after being sentenced to five months behind bars for a separate offence.

The incident occurred on November 4, last year, when the injured party reported her purse had been stolen from behind the counter of Chinese takeaway on William Street, Lurgan.

She told officers the purse contained the paper part of her licence and £100.

Defence solicitor Pat Vernon stated this had been an opportunistic theft with the defendant, a customer on the premise, grabbing the purse when the injured party had her back turned.

He added that Doran was later shown CCTV and it was then he accepted it was him.

The defendant told officers he was so drunk he could not remember.

Mr Vernon said Doran had “a very limited record with some relevance, although that was some time ago”.

Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne stated: “This is a very nasty offence”, adding “you haven’t enough money to go out drinking, buying food and get a taxi home so you steal this woman’s hard earned cash”.

Doran was sentenced to two and a half months in prison which is to run concurrently with his present stay.

Judge Browne commented that the concurrent sentence was “really in order to get you out of prison”.

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