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Month jail for man who stole £4 worth of cocktails from Tesco after his benefits were stopped

He told police at the time: 'If I had the money I would have paid for it'

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A Portadown man who stole two bottles of cocktails from a local store has been sentenced to a month in prison.

Court heard the 40-year-old committed the offence shortly after having his benefits cut and told police he would have paid for the items if he had the money.

Gareth Wray, of Edward Street, pleaded guilty to theft at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

It was heard that on June 16, the defendant was spotted by staff acting suspiciously in the alcohol section of Tesco in Portadown.

As he walked out the door of the premises without making any effort to pay, Wray was stopped by security.

When challenged he produced two bottles of Caribbean Twist which he had placed down his trousers.

The defendant was arrested and taken to Lurgan Custody Suite.

During interview, Wray made full admissions stating: “If I had the money I would have paid for it.”

He also expressed his wish to apologise to the staff at Tesco.

Prosecution told the court the estimated value of the items taken was £4.

Defence counsel said: “At the time his benefits had just stopped. He has since lost his hostel accommodation after being recalled to prison.

“He will remain there until March of next year.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “There is no point in ordering a pre-sentence report, given that you will be in custody until next March.

“Mr Wray, I do not have many options given your current position.”

The defendant was sentenced to one month in prison for the offence.

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