Travelled to Craigavon to steal from shops

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A 51-year-old man travelled from Belfast to Craigavon to steal because he was less likely to be identified, the judge said last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Gary Cooper, Glenmore Street, Belfast, admitted the theft of items worth £243.81 from Easons in Rushmere Shopping Centre on May 21, 2015.

He appeared in court by videolink from Maghaberry prison.

The court heard that on CCTV in Easons a man was seen removing items without paying for them and placing them in a carrier bag.

He was identified as the defendant and the items were never recovered.

A defence barrister said Cooper had been given a nine month custodial sentence at the Crown Court.

He added that his client had an extensive criminal record and wanted to ‘clear the decks’. District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, told the defendant this was a serious matter and an aggravating feature was that he had travelled from Belfast to Craigavon so it was less easy to identify him.

She added that Cooper had an ‘atrocious record’ for dishonesty.

Judge Kelly sentenced him to six months in prison with the term to run concurrently with the sentence he received in the Crown Court.