Man says Ballymena shoplifting spree was to ‘fund drug addiction’

ColeraineCourt9 - Edited
A man who admitted stealing goods worth hundreds of pounds during a shoplifting spree in Ballymena said it was to “fund his drug addiction”.

Neil Francis Blaney (37), whose address was given as Lodge Road in Coleraine, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday via video link from Maghaberry Prison and was jailed for six months.

He had taken goods from Boots, Poundland, B&M Bargains, Lloyds Pharmacy and Co-Op.
One of the items he swiped was a knife from Poundland.

Blaney was also detected with diazepam.

A defence lawyer said the defendant was “unable to return” to a part of Belfast where he was originally from.

Jailing the defendant, District Judge Nigel Broderick told him: “Clearly this behaviour was driven by a long-standing addiction to drugs and unfortunately you have not been able to get on top of that.”

The judge said the case was “very depressing”.

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