A MAN who took an estimated £70 from a charity box before dumping it in a bin at McDonald’s in Ballymena has been given a six months prison term, suspended for three years.
David John Gibson (35), formerly of Hill Street in Ballymena but now of Rosemary Place in Coleraine, was sentenced at Ballymena Magistrates Court for a number of offences.
In relation to the McDonald’s incident on March 27 last year staff noticed a charity box missing from the counter and when CCTV was viewed it showed the defendant taking the charity box to the toilets.
A previous court heard the charity box, minus its contents, was recovered from a bin in the toilets.
The charity box belonged to the ‘Ronald McDonald House Charity’.
The charity says: ‘Ronald McDonald Houses are located as close as possible to a specialist children’s hospitals across the UK. This means that families can be by their child’s bedside in a matter of moments, whilst maintaining a degree of normal life and reducing emotional and financial strain.’
Meanwhile, on February 7 in 2019 the defendant stole Davidoff The Game aftershave worth £50 from Boots in the Tower Centre. He was detected on CCTV.
On February 8, 2019, the defendant stole 6 XBox games worth £300 from B&M Bargains and when stopped in the Tower Centre he gave two games back and threw the other four on the ground and ran off.
In March 2019 the defendant stole Armani Code aftershave worth £80 from Boots chemists in Ballymena’s Tower Centre.
On April Fool’s Day in 2019, police stopped Gibson at Brougshane Street in Ballymena and £10 cannabis was recovered.
Gibson was also in possession of cannabis on another date.
On July 6 last year the defendant took chocolate worth £1 from Poundland in Ballymena.
On September 7 this year the defendant’s mother told police Gibson breached a Restraining Order by banging windows and doors at her home and wanting in.
The defendant told police he wanted tobacco and “some water”.
Defence barrister Neil Moore said there has been a substantial change in Gibson’s offending and this has been the most stable he has been for some time.
Mr Moore said the defendant had been living a “nomadic lifestyle” but is now in Coleraine where he is settled and drug misuse is “no longer an issue”.