DRUG addicts are selling stolen meat from door-to-door in order to pay for their habit, the High Court heard today.
Prosecutors disclosed the funding method as a man appeared on allegations of carrying out shoplifting raids on a Tesco store in Ballymena.
Dale McKee (26) of no fixed abode, is charged with two separate thefts on February 12 and 17.
He is accused of stealing eight steaks valued at £30 in the second incident.
A prosecution lawyer claimed CCTV examinations revealed McKee had taken products of unknown value from the store five days earlier.
In police interviews McKee said he had no recollection of the alleged events because he had been drinking heavily, the court heard.
During a bail application the prosecutor described him as a self-confessed heroin addict.
She contended: “The thefts are to fund this; the theft of meat would not be uncommon in this sort of offending.
“They are then used to sell door-to-door to fund that (habit).”
McKee’s bid to be released from custody was opposed due to issues about his proposed living arrangements.
But Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan agreed to release him temporarily to attend an addiction treatment service in Ballymena next week.
The judge banned him from taking any illicit medication or entering any retail premises during the period he is out of prison, the Irish News reports.