A man who stole €690 in cash from a woman’s bag after illegally entering the United Kingdom has been sentenced to four months in prison.
Court heard that the 41-year-old had no record in this jurisdiction but had seven previous international convictions for dishonesty offences, in the likes of Germany and Belgium.
Marian-Alin Harbuta, of Victoria Street in Lurgan, pleaded guilty to theft and illegal entry into the United Kingdom at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, via videolink from Maghaberry.
Prosecution outlined that on September 17, at 4.30pm, police received a report from the injured party that €690 had been stolen from her bag whilst she was at Tesco’s in Lurgan.
CCTV captured this defendant carry out the theft. Police spoke to another male, who had been with Harbuta and was still in the area.
He confirmed the defendant’s identity, adding that this was his mother’s partner and that he had been at the store around the time of the theft.
Harbuta was subsequently arrested and checks with the Home Office later revealed that he had also entered the country illegally.
Prosecution informed the court that the defendant had no record in this jurisdiction but had seven previous international convictions for dishonesty offences, in the likes of Germany and Belgium.
Defence barrister Joel Lindsay stated: “This is a man who had been living in Dublin. He knew he was excluded from the UK but he instructs me that he did not know that Northern Ireland was part of the UK.
“However, he now accepts that and has spent around nine weeks in custody, the equivalent of four to four-and-a-half months sentence.”
District Judge Steven Keown sentenced the defendant to four months in prison.