Drug addict who moved to the Simon Community in Ballymena to make a ‘fresh start’ stole from shops in the town in run up to Christmas

Ballymena Court.

FacebookTwitterEmailWhatsAppA drug addict who moved to the Simon Community in Ballymena to make a fresh start, “fell in with” another man and went shoplifting a week before Christmas. Brian Paul Ward (27), whose address was given as Henry Street in Ballymena, had moved from the Portadown area, Ballymena Magistrates Court was told on March 7. […]

A drug addict who moved to the Simon Community in Ballymena to make a fresh start, “fell in with” another man and went shoplifting a week before Christmas.

Brian Paul Ward (27), whose address was given as Henry Street in Ballymena, had moved from the Portadown area, Ballymena Magistrates Court was told on March 7.

On December 18 last year Ward stole perfume gift sets worth £140 from Boots in Ballymena.

He had also gone to the TK Maxx store in Ballymena at 10.15am that day and took around £300 worth of clothing before going back to the store and taking goods worth a similar amount at 2.45pm.

When caught he said he was drug dependent and he was shoplifting to feed his habit.

He had little recollection of what he had done but apologised.

Ward’s defence barrister Stephen Law said the defendant had been in custody since December 20.

At the time of the offences, Mr Law said, Ward had been living at the Simon Community in Ballymena for two months having moved from Portadown to “make a fresh start” but “unfortunately fell in with” other drug users, according to the lawyer.

Ward, who had a “bad record”, had taken prescription and non-prescription drugs on December 18, the court was told.

When released from prison the defendant intends to go back to Portadown.

A co-accused – Cormac Grimley (25), whose address was given as no fixed abode in Armagh – admitted stealing clothing from TK Maxx and being in possession of Class C Subutex.

He was caught carrying a black bin bag containing stolen clothing.

Grimley told police he was drug dependent; had taken a “large cocktail” of drugs and couldn’t remember being in the company of Ward.

Both men were given six months prison terms.

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