Man gets suspended jail term for ‘very nasty’ theft of cash from charity box

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A judge has handed down a suspended jail term to a man who was involved in the “very nasty” theft of cash from a charity box.

Noel Francis Cawley (49), of Galgorm Road in Ballymena, took £30 in May last year belonging to Save the Children.

He pleaded guilty to theft at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday where he handed over £10 after previously paying back £20 of the stolen cash.

A prosecutor said police received a call from Save the Children about a theft in Ballymena and a description of the culprit was circulated.

Police stopped the defendant and found he had two five pound notes and change.

During interview he said he had been in a shop but denied the theft saying he had the coins in his possession already and he added that he had been at an ATM with his partner who was lifting her ‘dole’ money.

However, at court he pleaded guilty.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said the defendant had a “very poor record”.

He told Cawley it was “a very nasty thing to steal charity money” and handed down a three months jail term, suspended for one year.

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