A man who used a foil bag in order to steal from a Portadown store has been sentenced to five months in prison.
Sentencing the 27-year-old, the deputy district judge said: “I see his occupation is down as factory worker but it should read homeless thief. He can’t just stay in Northern Ireland and steal from us.”
Piotr Wiktor, of Tavanagh Gardens in Portadown, pleaded guilty to theft and going equipped for theft at Craigavon Magistrates’ on Friday, via videolink from Maghaberry.
Prosecution outlined that on May 9, police received a report of a theft from Asda in Portadown. A male carrying a pink and white carrier bag had set off an alarm as he left the store.
Security guards asked this individual to stop but he instead ran in the direction of the Bann bridge.
He was chased by the Asda staff to the bridge, where they called police.
The man asked them not to make the call and handed over the bag, before heading towards the river bank.
Inside the carrier bag, the security guards found a separate foil lined bag, along with various items to the value of £61.
Police were able to identify the culprit as this defendant; he was subsequently arrested and interviewed, making full admissions.
Defence solicitor John McAtamney stated: “At the time he was sort of sleeping rough in a derelict house, he was not working, he was not receiving benefits.”
Having not been represented in the police station, or at his first court appearance, Mr McAtamney said that an arrested warrant was issued for Wiktor.
He stated: “He was arrested in the People’s Park, soaked through in a storm. The police got him a shower and some food.”
Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes said: “I see his occupation is down as factory worker but it should read homeless thief. He can’t just stay in Northern Ireland and steal from us.
“This is now professional shoplifting as he has brought a bag with which to steal.”
Wiktor was sentenced to five months in prison for the offences.