When it was his girlfriend’s birthday a 21-year-old man decided to get her a ring – by stealing it from a shop in Dromore.
Scott Mayne, Barban Heights, Dromore, admitted two theft charges last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.
He pleaded guilty to the theft of a ring, valued at £49.99, from Country Choice on June 17 this year and stealing Lynx shower gel and two birthday cards, valued at £9, from Supervalu on the same date.
The court heard that police received a report from the owners of the Country Choice store in Dromore that a male had entered the store earlier in the day with a white plastic carrier bag.
They became suspicious when he opened a jewellery cabinet and dropped a ring. The owner went to assist him and he said it had gone behind a ring stand.
The male then left the store and all the owner found was the empty ring stand.
Police went to the defendant’s home and he was wearing the clothing which had been described to them.Mayne made a full admission and said he was very sorry.
He explained that it was his girlfriend’s birthday the next day and he had no money to buy her anything.
A barrister representing Mayne said he had given the ring back to the police and the other goods had been thrown away.
He handed in to the judge a letter from a drugs and addiction worker who was in court and also a letter from the defendant.
The lawyer explained Mayne and his partner had an eight month old son and she was pregnant with their second child.
He added that these family circumstances have had a positive impact on Mayne but he knew he was ‘on thin ice’ because of a suspended sentence and previous disposals.
District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said the defendant had 15 convictions for offences involving theft and was facing a custodial sentence. But, he added, he had been impressed by what the addiction worker had said.
He adjourned sentencing until July 21 so that probation could prepare a specific sentence report in relation to community service.
“If you fail to co-operate with the probation service you will spend the summer in jail,” the judge told Mayne.
Mayne replied: “Thanks your worship, I appreciate it.”