Carrying a holdall into the dock last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court a 20-year-old man was prepared for an immediate custodial sentence.
But Jonathan Hall, Queen’s Place, Lurgan, walked out of the court after receiving a community service order.
He had pleaded guilty at an earlier court to entering as a trespasser Waves Leisure Centre in Lurgan and stealing a mobile phone.
The court heard that on April 13 that police received a report of the theft and through descriptions by staff members and CCTV the defendant was identified.
Police were given a description of the phone and went to Hall’s address where they found the phone down the side of a sofa.
When interviewed he made a full admission.
The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.
A barrister representing the defendant said that two suspended sentences were breached although they were for different offences.
He pointed out that Hall had struggled into the dock with a large bag expecting to go into custody.
The lawyer added that his client had been referred by his GP to the community mental health team and did seem to be trying to address his issues.
Imposing 100 hours community service District Judge, Mr Peter King, said that Hall had 38 previous convictions but none for theft or burglary and he was not going to interfere with the suspended sentences.