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Co Armagh man who stole £80 worth of goods from Sainsburys sent to prison

Sainsbury's store

A Portadown man has been sent to prison after pleading guilty to stealing nearly £80 worth of goods from a Sainsbury’s store in Co Armagh.

Ryan Ritchie, 43, of Hartfield Avenue, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, via videolink from Maghaberry, on Friday.

The incident occurred on August 28, last year, when police were called to an altercation outside the store in Rushmere Shopping Centre, Craigavon.

When they arrived, police saw the defendant acting aggressively towards staff who had questioned him about the items. He was subsequently arrested by police.

Sainsbury’s quoted the total amount stolen by Ritchie as being £79.24.

In interview, the defendant accepted the theft claims but denied charges of assault which were later dropped.

Defence counsel stated that Ritchie felt he was manhandled by security staff and strongly denied assaulting anyone.

They added that the defendant was a “long-term drug addict” and at the time was having a relapse.

The defence informed the court that he had now been off drugs for some time.

Court also heard that Ritchie was on remand for another case which was a few weeks away from conclusion.

District Judge Bernie Kelly noted that the defendant was in breach of two suspended sentences stating “these will have to taken into consideration”.

For these offences, Ritchie was sentenced to four months in prison with a further two months being added for breach of the suspended sentences.

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