Jail for man who stole from three town stores

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A 45-year-old man who stole from three stores in Portadown was jailed for a total of six months last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Ryan Ritchie, Hartfield Avenue, Portadown, appeared in court by way of videolink from Maghaberry prison.

He was accused of stealing bedding worth £50 from The Range at the Meadows Shopping Centre on August 13 this year, the theft of goods valued at £98.96 from B and M Bargains on September 7 and stealing air fresheners worth £60 from Tescos on October 5.

His barrister, Mr Aaron Thompson, indicated pleas adding that Ritchie had been in custody for five weeks.

The court heard that on August 13 he stole two sets of bedding at The Range. He was challenged outside the store and the goods were recovered.

On September 9 at B and M he stole a mini jukebox, a sound bar and two bottles of aftershave.

He was identified on CCTV and when police went to his home they could hear him inside the property but he wouldn’t answer the door.

Police did get in and he admitted taking the jukebox and sound bar but denied taking the aftershave.

At 7.45pm on October 5 Ritchie was seen in the self-service area of Tescos in Portadown. He put air fresheners into a bag before walking past the check outs.

Mr Thompson said his client had a ‘horrible record’ for theft. He added that these were serious matters and because of his record the court could impose something quite crushing. Mr Thompson said Ritchie had a child he wanted to see before Christmas.

Mr Thompson said Ritchie fell between ‘a rock and a hard place’ because he committed offences and then didn’t get bail because of his record.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland added that the defendant was a persistent offender for whom imprisonment was an occupational hazard. For each of the three charges he imposed a sentence of six months concurrently and ordered him to pay a £25 offender’s levy.