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Portadown man who stole sweet jar and threw buns at bank staff jailed

Craigavon Courthouse

A Portadown man who stole a jar of sweets from a bank and threw buns at a staff member has been jailed for seven months.

David McConnell, 30, of Hartfield Avenue, appeared for sentencing before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, charged with theft, two counts of common assault and two counts of criminal damage.

At the outset of the hearing, the charge of theft was read to him and he was asked if he wished to go for trial or be dealt with in the magistrates’ court.

He chose to have the case heard in the magistrates’ court, entering guilty pleas to the charges.

The court heard on January 12, police received a report from B&M Bargains in the High Street Mall, Portadown, stating that two males had entered the store and were behaving suspiciously.

The supervisor said that one of the men, who had “long blonde hair and cross tattoos under his eyes”, was approached as they left. He then lifted a pack of Pepsi and threw it at the supervisor, bursting a number of cans.

A short time later, a further report was received from Danske Bank. Two males with the same description had entered the bank.

The defendant is reported to have gone to the staff area – which was restricted to the public – lifted a jar of sweets and placed them in his pocket.

The co-accused entered the same area and McConnell ate a bun in the area, before staff approached them and asked them to leave.

Before leaving, McConnell threw a bun at the wall before throwing another at a female member of staff.

Police attended the co-accused’s address and both men were there.

A defence lawyer, speaking on the defendant’s behalf, said McConnell is a “longstanding hard drugs addict” who had been on remand since the commission of the offences.

He added that the incident in question was drink-fuelled and that he and his co-accused were “out of their minds on alcohol”, describing it as “juvenile delinquency”, conceding that the defendant’s record “does him no favours”.

He continued: “When sober and when lucid he is a gentleman… He wishes me to apologise to the two staff members.”

On passing sentence, District Judge Francis Rafferty noted McConnell was under a suspended sentence for an assault on police.

For the charges before the court he imposed a total sentence of three months. He also activated the suspended sentence of four months, making a total sentence of seven months in custody.

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