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Man stole £1,500 custom-built bike from hallway outside apartment

He was also given an absolute discharge for taking clothing from an Oxfam charity bank in the Tesco car park

Newry Courthouse

A Newry man who stole a custom built mountain bike from the hallway of the owner has been handed a conditional discharge for a period of 12 months.

The district judge also ordered that the 34-year-old pay restitution to the sum of £750 to the injured party within six months.

John Paul McDonagh, of Ardcarn Park, pleaded guilty to theft and burglary at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, via videolink from his solicitor’s office.

Prosecution outlined that on February 21, police received a report of a theft from an address on Upper Edward Street, Newry.

The injured party stated that they had left their custom built mountain bike in the communal hallway outside their apartment the previous night and it was gone come morning.

CCTV captured a male leaving on the bike, which was valued by the injured party at around £1,500.

Police circulated an image of the male and he was subsequently identified as this defendant.

McDonagh was arrested and when interviewed denied that it was he in the CCTV footage.

Then on May 14, at 6.30pm, police received a report from staff at Tesco that a male had been stealing clothes from the Oxfam Charity bank in the car park of the store.

CCTV was passed onto police and on May 19 staff made a further report that the male had returned to the store.

Officers arrived and arrested this defendant, who matched previous CCTV footage. He was interviewed and made admissions to the offence.

District Judge Eamonn King commented: “Some day I am going to have to draw a line under this kind of behaviour.”

Defence barrister Seamus Lannon stated that his client instructed that the clothing stolen from the Oxfam bank had been for himself.

He said: “I have since explained to him, if he had gone to one of those charities such as Oxfam or St Vincent de Paul and explained that he needed clothes, they would have discreetly helped him out.”

Mr Lannon said McDonagh had believed the bike he stole to be “scrap” but the valuation of the injured party was accepted and it was acknowledged that it would have been a “sting” to them.

District Judge King handed the defendant an absolute discharge on the theft of clothing and a conditional discharge for 12 months in relation to the burglary.

McDonagh was also ordered to pay restitution of £750 to the injured party within 26 weeks.

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