Thief threatened with jail for next offence


A Lurgan man has been told the next time he is in court for ‘thieving’ he would be going to jail.

Forty-eight-year-old James Patrick McDonagh, Drumlin Drive, Lurgan, admitted the theft of two bottles of vodka, valued at £37, from Dunne’s Stores, Portadown, on April 21 this year.

And last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court he was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for two years, and fined £200 with a £15 offender’s levy.

The court heard police were called to Dunne’s Stores where staff had stopped the defendant for shoplifting. He had taken two bottles of vodka which were recovered and fit for re-sale.

Mr Gabriel Ingram, representing the defendant, said McDonagh was currently on probation for a similar offence.

He explained that the defendant had addiction problems which were the bane of his life.

Mr Ingram said a pre-sentence report indicated that McDonagh was keen not to re-offend again and he was now saying he was motivated to abstain from alcohol.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said it was McDonagh’s fifth conviction for theft.

It seemed, he added, that when he wanted something the defendant just went and took it but on this occasion was caught red handed.

Judge Copeland warned McDonagh that if he ‘appeared in court again for thieving’ he would go to jail.