Borrowed phone to make call and ran off

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.
Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

When he asked to use a woman’s phone a 35-year-old man ran away with it and the £600 device was never recovered, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Friday.

Shane Curtis Whitla, whose address was given as Brownlow Terrace, Lurgan, was charged with stealing the iPhone 7 on July 2 last year.

He appeared in court on videolink from Maghaberry prison and his barrister entered a guilty plea.

A prosecutor said that the injured party was in Lurgan with a group of friends when she was approached by the defendant who was a father of a friend of hers.

He asked to use her phone and walked away with it slowly before sprinting away.

The victim attended at his home address and Whitla said he had lost the phone. The matter was reported to the police.

The phone was valued at £600 and was never returned.

Whitla’s barrister said he had been back on the drink and drugs and had not covered himself in glory at any time.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said that a serious aggravating feature was that the phone had never been returned.

She sentenced Whitla to six months in prison and ordered him to pay a £25 offender’s levy.