Phone took a selfie of the thief who stole it

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A safety feature on a phone took a ‘selfie’ of the woman who stole it when she tried to use it, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Wednesday.

Michelle Coughran, Garland Crescent, Lurgan, admitted that between November 24 and November 27, 2017, she stole a Galaxy 7 phone valued at £775 belonging to a woman.

She was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for two years.

The court heard that the injured party reported to police that her phone had been stolen from her handbag. The bag had been under a table she was sitting at with friends in the Beehive bar.

She had activated a safety feature, a capture cam, which photographed anyone who attempted to use the phone. The victim’s handbag was later found in the bar’s disabled toilet.

Through the capture cam there was a picture of a woman who was in the Beehive bar on the evening in question.

A neighbour of the defendant found the phone lying in a back garden and handed it in to Lurgan police station.

When interviewed Coughran claimed someone else in the bar placed the phone in her bag. She also claimed that the first she knew about it was when the phone rang and she answered it. The phone has been returned undamaged.

Defence solicitor, Ms Siun Downey, said her client had no explanation of why this happened. “You and I know the explanation. She is a thief,” said District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly.

Ms Downey said Coughran was embarrassed and would apologise to the injured party and the court. There was nothing relevant on her record.

Judge Kelly said the defendant had ‘lied through her teeth’ to police and women carried a lot of things in their handbags like photos of deceased relatives which they may never get back again.

She added that this was a nasty offence. Imposing the suspended sentence she told Coughran: “I think you would do the same thing tomorrow. You don’t care about other people’s phones.”