Took money from a children’s charity box

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A 47-year-old man who stole from a children’s charity box in a Portadown business on St Patrick’s Day this year was jailed for six months last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Thomas McDonagh, Sydney Lane, Aughnacloy, appeared in court by videolink from Maghaberry prison and admitted two charges.

He pleaded guilty to stealing Magner’s cider valued at £7.80 from Wine Co, Portadown on November 30, 2016, and stealing £32.05 in cash belonging to the NSPCC on March 17 this year.

For the first charge he was given one month in custody and a concurrent six month term was imposed for the second theft.

He was also ordered to pay a £25 offender’s levy.

The court heard that on November 30 at Wine Co he was seen to put two bottles of cider up his sleeves before he was confronted by staff.

On March 17 at Bob and Bert’s coffee shop the shutters were only half up when McDonagh opened a NSPCC charity box and put the change in his pocket.

He was stopped by shop staff.

Referring to the second offence a barrister representing the defendant said it was the morning of St Patrick’s Day.

He said his client had little or no memory of what happened.

He added that McDonagh had consumed alcohol the previous day and that morning and needed money to get a taxi home.

The lawyer said his client had been released on bail on March 17 but had then breached it on March 23 and had been in custody since March 29.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said the offence on March 17 was very serious particularly since he had stolen money intended for a charity for children.