Man drank wine in Tesco changing room

Guard, who was awarded �3,000, claimed that he was assaulted by two students
Guard, who was awarded �3,000, claimed that he was assaulted by two students

A 22-year-old man stole a bottle of wine from Tesco in Portadown by drinking it in a changing room of the store.

Jordan Topping, Church View Villas, Gilford, admitted a series of offences when he appeared by videolink last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

He pleaded guilty to the theft of items valued at £31 from Peacock’s, Portadown, on July 1, stealing a sleeping bag worth £38 from Asda on April 20, the theft of a soft drink from Sainsbury’s on June 3 and failing to answer bail on August 3.

Topping also admitted stealing a bottle of wine worth £5.99 from Tesco, on August 6 and stealing wine and a belt, valued at £13.99, from the same store on August 7.

The court heard that on April 20 at 11.50pm the defendant entered the store and took a sleeping bag before leaving without making any attempt to pay. He was indentified on CCTV.

When interviewed Topping said he had no recollection of the incident.

He was then seen in Sainsbury’s on June 3 taking a drink from a bottle of Fanta, putting it in his pocket and leaving the store.

Police received a report of a theft at Peacock’s where Topping had picked a number of items of clothing and took them to the changing rooms.

When he came out he put some items back but walked out with another item. He was recognised by a member of staff.

The court was told that he had been released on bail from Armagh police station on July 19 and failed to answer his bail on August 3.

Police on August 8 received a report of two thefts at Tesco.

On August 6 staff found an empty bottle of wine in a changing room in the store. The following day he stole wine and a belt. He was again identified on CCTV. When he was interviewed in August 21 he admitted both offences.

District Judge Mr Mervyn Bates said there was quite a litany of offences.

A solicitor representing Topping said he had an alcohol addiction and when he was released from custody in December last year he undertook a programme from January to March at Sister Consilio’s in Newry.

She added that the defendant then got work in London but when he came back he got involved in these offences to fuel his addiction. He realises he needs help.

Judge Bates said the court had to protect the public and shopkeepers.

He added Topping was in breach of a suspended sentence and he would require a pre-sentence report. He adjourned sentencing until October 16.