Judge warns ‘last chance saloon’ for man

Even though he had been banned from entering any Tesco store in Northern Ireland a 56-year-old man went into the Lurgan store and stole bread and alcohol.

William Christopher Campbell, Union Street, Lurgan, appeared last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

He admitted stealing items valued at £51.50 from Tescos on February 7 this year and entering as a trespasser Tescos on February 12 and stealing food and alcohol.

The court heard that on February 7 at 9.20pm Campbell took items from the store and left without paying for them. He subsequently offered to pay for them.

The defendant had then been barred from entering any Tesco store in Northern Ireland.

On February 12 he went into the Lurgan store. He put items in a basket and left without paying.

Police spoke to him at his home address where they found a Tesco basket, a loaf and four tins of beer.

The court heard Campbell had been dealt with for similar matters in September last year and had received a suspended sentence.

Mr Conor Downey, representing the defendant, said Campbell had an alcohol dependency but there had been a break in his offending.

He added that but for the last offence in September the defendant was last in court in 2005 for any conviction for dishonesty.

Mr Downey asked the judge to consider deferring sentencing to see if Campbell could keep out of trouble.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said it was the ‘last chance saloon’ as far as the defendant was concerned.

He added that the only possible sentence was one of custody as Campbell was in breach of a suspended sentence and he had committed the latest offences twice within five days.

Taking into account what a pre-sentence report said Judge Bates deferred sentence for six months.

He told Campbell that he must stay out of trouble and any re-offending would lead to a custodial sentence.