Stolen purse found in couple’s kitchen bin

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After a woman stole a purse in Rushmere Shopping Centre she and her husband were charged with its theft and £110 contained in the purse.

Although the purse was found in their kitchen bin they denied there was any money inside but they were convicted after a trial of stealing the cash.

Evelina Brazauskas (30) and Marius Brazauskas (35), both from Enniskeen, Craigavon, were sentenced last Wednesday at the local magistrates court.

Mrs Brazauskas, who had previous convictions for a number of matters including shoplifting, was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £55 compensation.

And District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, told her this was a clear warning that if there was any repetition of theft by her it would result in immediate custody.

Mr Brazauskas, who played a lesser part, was fined £150, and ordered to pay £55 compensation.

The court heard that, on March 3 last year, the injured party left her purse on top of a machine in the main thoroughfare at Rushmere Shopping Centre.

The female defendant lifted the purse and put it in her pram the male defendant was pushing before leaving the area.

Police were asked to attend at the centre the next day when the same couple were seen on camera.

A search was carried out at their address and the injured party’s purse was found in the kitchen bin.

Both admitted stealing the purse but denied taking any money, saying the purse was empty.

They admitted stealing the purse and contested there was money inside but were convicted and the matter adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

A barrister representing both defendants said a pre-sentence report indicated it had been an impulsive act and Mr Brazauskas had a limited record.

Judge Bates said it was clear that Evelina Brazauskas performed the initial act of dishonesty.

The lawyer added that both were in the position to repay the money and he asked the judge to leave something hanging over them to deter them from doing this again.

Judge Bates said it was a deliberate act by Evelina Brazauskas to steal the purse, as seen on CCTV, and he was satisfied it contained the money alleged by the injured party.

He added that the other defendant became involved later on but allowed himself to be drawn into an illegal act.