An engagement ring worth £9,000, stolen in a burglary, was found in the possession of an 18-year-old man searched in Craigavon on August 30 last year.
Thomas John Keenan, whose address was given as Chestnut Road, Walsall, was sentenced last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court for three offences.
He was given three months in custody, suspended for 12 months, for handling stolen goods and a two month concurrent sentence for obstructing police. A conditional discharge for 12 months was imposed for failing to answer bail.
The court heard that on August 20 last year the injured party reported to police that her home in Dungannon had been broken into and a £9,000 engagement ring and designer handbags stolen.
On August 30 Keenan was stopped by police and searched near the Legahory travellers’ camp. A ring was in his possession and he gave incorrect personal details to officers.
Police put the ring on social media and were contacted by the injured party who saw the post on Facebook.
Keenan was interviewed and gave ever changing accounts and was bailed to appear again at Lurgan police station. He didn’t and was arrested in England.
He claimed he was bringing the ring to his brother, that it wasn’t his and that the only place he had been was Craigavon shopping centre and a snooker hall in Portadown.
The defendant also said he had been given the ring by his grandmother but wouldn’t give her details and said the ring was irrelevant and was worth only £100 to £200.
District Judge Amanda Brady said there was a pre-sentence report which had been prepared in England but she could not impose what was suggested in Northern Ireland.
Defence barrister Patrick Taylor said it was common case his client was not linked to the burglary but was given the ring by his brother and was reckless as to its origin.
He added that Keenan was aware he had now graduated to the adult court where the sentencing was more serious.
Judge Brady said she would be imposing suspended sentences.