A MAN who tried to steal £300 worth of clothing from a store abandoned the items when chased by a security guard, Ballymena Magistrates Court was told.
The defendant is Gavin James Lee Gildea (33), with an address listed as Linenhall Street in Ballymena, but who is now said to be living at Grange Walk in Ballyclare.
In March last year the defendant was in TK Maxx in Bangor and brought seven items to a changing room and handed back six items but stole a Polo shirt worth £17.
In April last year he returned to TK Maxx and took clothing and shoes worth £300 and left the store before abandoning them when chased by a security guard.
In June, 2019, police received a report of a theft at Primark in Ballymena. A security officer had detained the defendant. A £1.50 pair of stolen earrings were recovered. Later, police found Gildea had a small amount of cannabis worth £2 in his wallet.
Defence barrister Neil Moore said the defendant had previously had a “very transient lifestyle” but has now obtained employment with an electricity firm and lives in Ballyclare and has “turned his life around”.
Mr Moore said the defendant had moved his life away from alcohol misuse which had been the background to the offending.
District Judge Nigel Broderick gave the defendant a three months prison term, suspended for two years.