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Man who stole money from wallet at Portadown store jailed for four months

Defence said his client had been 'in the midst of a heroin addiction' at the time, adding: 'He was homeless and living on the streets'

A man who stole over £250 from the office of a hardware shop has been sentenced to four months in prison.

The 39-year-old’s barrister told court that at the time his client had been “in the midst of a heroin addiction” but had since made efforts to tackle this.

Seamus Patrick McDonagh, with an address of Ross Mill Avenue in Belfast, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary at Craigavon Magistrates’ on Friday, via videolink from Maghaberry.

Prosecution outlined that on August 16, of 2018, police stopped a vehicle on the Tamnamore Road, Dungannon, which was believed to have been connected to a burglary earlier that day.

There were two occupants in the car, one of whom was identified as this defendant.

At around 5.30pm two males had entered Turkington Hardware in Portadown. One had spoke to a member of staff whilst the other entered a private office at the rear of the property and took approximately £260 from a wallet.

Both men were subsequently arrested and made no comment when interviewed.

Defence barrister Conor Coulter stated: “Mr McDonagh has been keen to have this matter dealt with. It happened some three years ago and he instructs at the time he had been in the midst of a heroin addiction.

“This was a difficult time in which he lost his brother and father. He was homeless and living on the streets.”

Mr Coulter told court that since then McDonagh had made attempts to abstain from drugs and alcohol.

He added: “He has an appalling record, I have to concede that. Just months before this he was handed suspended sentences at Laganside although those were not for acts of dishonesty.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly sentenced McDonagh to four months in custody for the offence, but made no order of the suspended sentences noting the different nature of these.

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