Jailed for selling goods stolen from church

Craigavon Courthouse.
Craigavon Courthouse.

A man who advertised goods stolen from a church on his Facebook page and Gumtree was jailed for ten months last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

He was Emmanuel Whitla (34), Chestnut Place, Banbridge, and he admitted receiving stolen goods between April 19 and April 23 this year. For this offence he was sentenced to five months in custody.

Concurrent five month terms were imposed on charges of possession of a class A drug, methadrone, and possession of a class B drug, cannabis.

The court heard that Whitla, who appeared by videolink from Maghaberry prison, had been recalled on licence and he waived his right to a pre-sentence report.

The court heard there had been a burglary at a church in Lurgan and some of the stolen items had been placed for sale by Whitla on his Facebook page and on Gumtree.

A barrister said that on his release from prison the defendant had taken to drink and drugs and to fund this he had got involved in this matter.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said it was particularly offensive that churches were being targeted.