Landed on top of a security officer

There was a sitting of Longford Circuit Court last week.

There was a sitting of Longford Circuit Court last week.

While attempting to escape a shoplifter tried to climb over a fence but instead fell and rolled down a grass bank where he landed on top of a security officer.

He then hit the injured party with his shoe and tried to choke him before he was eventually restrained and handcuffed.

Roman Omasta (34), Avondale Manor, Craigavon, admitted a number of charges when he appeared in Craigavon Magistrates Court on October 21 last year.

These were the theft of meat products valued at £56.63 from Sainsbury’s on June 7 last year, unlawful damage to cereal boxes worth £13.10, three assaults, resisting a constable and obstructing an officer. Sentencing in the case was deferred from last October until last Wednesday.

The court heard that on June 7 police were called to Sainsbury’s in relation to a male shoplifter who had taken six gammon joints and left the store without paying.

Omasta offered some resistance to the security officer and while being taken to the rear of the store he kicked the officer and pushed another officer into shelves. In the office he raised a chair above his head and the injured party feared he was about to be assaulted.

When spoken to by police he gave a false name and then said: “I’m stupid, f—k sake I’m stupid.”

As Omasta was being escorted to the police car he ran off across the Rushmere car park onto a bank and attempted to scale a fence at Avondale Manor.

The defendant who had one shoe in his hand rolled down the hill and landed on top of the security officer. Omasta was rolled off the injured party and handcuffs applied.

There was redness to the right eye of the injured party and it was claimed that Omasta had hit him with his shoe and also was choking him.

When spoken to by police he admitted to the theft and that he had no money to pay for the goods.

He denied the assaults and added that he had tried to climb over the fence to get away but when he couldn’t just rolled down the hill to get to the bottom as quickly as possible. He had no intention to roll into the officer.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said it was a lengthy and unsavoury set of circumstances arising from a simple shoplifting offence.

Mr Richard Monteith, representing the defendant, said that during the deferment Omasta had appeared in court for aggravated vehicle taking on January 21.

He explained that his client abused heroin and on this occasion the purposes of the theft was not to eat but to sell on the items.

Mr Monteith explained that his client had attended with the community addiction team and he was assessed as a medium risk of re-offending.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said that the first port of call was whether an immediate custodial sentence was appropriate.

But, he added, the defendant was in stable employment, was seemingly getting to grips with his underlying problem and no other matters were pending.

For each of the offences he imposed 200 hours community service.

Omasta was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to the security officer, £100 compensation to a police officer and £69.73 to Sainsbury’s.

“Consider yourself lucky you did not get immediate custody,” Judge Bates told the defendant.