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‘Talented musician’ jailed for stealing £7,000 bike in Portadown

On considering the realistic possibility of what may be repaid, he also imposed a compensation order of £500, giving the defendant 26 weeks to pay it

Craigavon Courthouse
Craigavon Courthouse

A Portadown man who was described as a ‘talented musician’ has been jailed for stealing a £7,000 bike.

Appearing before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday via videolink from Maghaberry was Conor James McConville (31), of Portmore Street, who was charged with one count of theft of a bicycle.

The court was told that on November 4 last year, police received a report from the injured party who said his bicycle had been stolen from B&M Bargains at the High Street Mall in Portadown.

He said that his new bike, valued at approximately £7,000, was left inside the door of the shop for a short period of time. He returned and the bike was missing.

He spoke to shop staff, who stated that a male in his 30s, wearing black clothing and carrying a red bag, had taken it.

Police attended B&M Bargains and obtained CCTV footage. On viewing the footage they saw the man approach the bicycle and wheel it off from the front door of the shop. The attending officers recognised the male as the defendant.

He was approached by police on January 20 and interviewed. He gave no answers to the questions and when shown the CCTV footage he claimed, “That’s not me… There’s no way that’s me”.

Defence barrister David McKeown, in his plea of mitigation, described the defendant as a talented musician, stating he had the “pleasure of listening to him on occasion”.

He continued: “Prior to being in Maghaberry, he had a strong career in the local scene, playing pubs and clubs. Unfortunately, he’s a man who also has problems with alcohol and being in that scene was not conducive to that.

“He succumbed to that alcohol problem. Later he succumbed to a drug problem. Thankfully, he’s now addressing the drug problem. He’s on a substitute programme. Things are going well for him.”

Mr McKeown added that on the defendant’s last release he was “entrepreneurial” and negotiated a deal with a charity shop to run a stall at Nutt’s Corner.

“Unfortunately, on the day in question, he returned to that vice of alcoholism and was drunk. He took the bike which was very foolish on his behalf.”

District Judge Ranaghan stated that the defendant had a “ridiculous” criminal record, but took into account the substitute programme and the work the defendant had been doing outside prison.

He added: “It’s a very expensive bike and we don’t know whether it’s returned or not.”

 Judge Ranaghan imposed a three month sentence, concurrent to the time in which the defendant was currently serving.

On considering the realistic possibility of what may be repaid, he also imposed a compensation order of £500, giving the defendant 26 weeks to pay it.

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