After he was given community service last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court a 21-year-old man was warned if he breached the order he would be facing a possible prison sentence of eight months.
Scott Mayne, Barban Heights, Dromore, admitted stealing a pair of pliers from the Supervalu store in the town on August 30 last year.
The court heard he had removed the packaging from the item before leaving the premises. The pliers were not fit for re-sale.
Mayne was identified by police on CCTV and when interviewed admitted it was a ‘stupid action’. Sentencing had been adjourned from a previous court to obtain a specific sentence report.
A barrister representing the defendant said just five days before this offence Mayne had been given a suspended sentence for an identical offence.
He explained that this was the anniversary of the death of one of Mayne’s friend from drug abuse and he wanted to visit his grave.
However, he added, his bike was broken and he needed the pliers to mend it.
The lawyer said Mayne was very keen to do community service to get some structure into his lifestyle.
District Judge Eamonn King said the defendant had 17 previous convictions including burglary, assaults and theft and had received a four month suspended sentence just four days before this offence.
He added that Mayne had indicated to the court and the probation service that he was ready and able to work.
“Let’s put him to the test,” said Judge King.
He gave him 200 hours community service with the warning that if he breached the order he would be facing at least four months in prison or a possible eight month term.