Judge doubts stolen meat was ‘for diet’

Court gavel
Court gavel

A man who travelled to Portadown to steal from stores was given a four month prison sentence last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

John Nesbitt (52), Killynure Walk, Carryduff, at a previous court had pleaded guilty to a number of offences.

They included stealing a microwave over worth £99.99 from Tesco at Newtownbreda Road, Lisburn, on December 14 last year and driving while disqualified and uninsured on the same date.

He also admitted that on December 18 he stole a hot plate valued at £24.99 from B and M Bargains, Portadown, meat worth £138 from Asda, £53.54 worth of meat from P and G Family Foods and meat valued at £127.78 from Tesco in Portadown.

Nesbitt also pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and not having insurance on the same date at the Northway and obstructing a constable.

The court heard when stopped he gave police false details.

Various items from supermarkets were found in the vehicle. Inquiries revealed the items had been stolen.

A barrister representing the defendant said he was not a man without his troubles and at the time he was struggling financially and had suffered a mental breakdown.

He added that these were mostly food items which were stolen in desperation and in the probation report he had shown remorse.

The lawyer added that Nesbitt had ‘psychical problems’ and struggled with alcohol.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said the combination of the offences painted a very dim picture.

She told the defendant he had chosen to drive to Portadown when he knew he was a disqualified driver and had used the vehicle on another date to do exactly the same thing.

Judge Kelly said she did not think this was for his diet as the quantity of meat came to £400.

The defendant said he had his 17-year-old nephew living with him at the time.

The judge added that an aggravating feature was that he had travelled out of his own area so that he would be less identifiable.

For each charge she sentenced him to four months in prison and banned him from driving for a total of 12 months.