Sentence deferred for man who stole drink

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A 34-year-old man who struggles with alcohol has been given until early next year to stay out of trouble and avoid a prison sentence.

Gary McConaghy, Downshire Avenue, Lurgan, admitted stealing a bottle of Disaronno Liqueur from Sainsbury’s on April 29 this year.

The case was adjourned until last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court to get a pre-sentence report.

The court heard that police were called to Sainsbury’s in Rushmere after a shoplifter had been detained.

CCTV showed McConaghy lifting the bottle and putting it in his jacket before zipping it up and leaving the store without paying.

Miss Siun Downey, representing the defendant, said from her client’s record it could be seen that the vast majority of his offending was from late 2017 when he started to struggle with alcohol and his mental health.

She added that he had been working at Asda but because of his addiction he handed in his notice.

Miss Downey explained that McConaghy had gone on a three day binge and had no idea why he took the drink because he had the money to pay for it.

She added that it was probably due to his level of intoxication. He was in breach of a suspended sentence which was for not similar offences.

Miss Downey asked the judge not to interfere with her client’s liberty as he was attending with community addictions and regularly attending appointments.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, told McConaghy that she was going to defer sentencing until January 3 next year.