Man who stole charity box in Ballymena has sentencing adjourned

A MAN who stole a charity box in Ballymena a few days after being given a suspended jail term has had sentencing adjourned.

Steven Johnston (25), with an address in the Cushendall Road area of the town, took the charity box containing £20 which had been placed in a chemist shop in Ballymena to collect money for what was described on the charge sheet as the ‘Head Injury Family Support Group’.

Johnston was in Woodside’s Pharmacy on November 18 last year when he took the charity box from a counter and fled.

The incident was captured on CCTV.

A prosecutor told an earlier hearing a staff member informed the defendant’s partner that he needed to return the charity box and after his partner phoned him he returned five minutes later.

When spoken to by police he made full admissions to theft.

Last September Johnston stole a bottle of ketchup worth £2 from Poundland in Ballymena.

A defence solicitor told the earlier hearing the defendant had a relevant record and had been on a suspended sentence which he received last November.

District Judge Nigel Broderick told the previous hearing Johnston had appeared at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on November 13 last year when he received a six months suspended sentence and five days later he took the charity box.

At Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday, the case was further adjourned to October and it was heard a pre-sentence report is available.

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