ITEMS worth around £400 which were stolen by a heroin addict during a shoplifting spree in Ballymena were unfit for re-sale because they had “blood on them”, the town’s Magistrates Court heard on Thursday.
Richard John Green (43), with an address given as The Travellers Rest at Galgorm Road in the town, stole jackets, perfume and headphones from a number of outlets on April 9 this year.
The court was told the defendant’s case was meant to have gone ahead the previous week but he had left the courthouse as he had a “seizure” according to defence barrister Aaron Thompson.
Green did attend this week for sentencing. Thursday’s court was told security staff had detained the defendant but the stolen items had blood on them and were unfit to be re-sold.
Defending, Mr Thompson said his client was a heroin addict for thirty years but had a limited record.
For twelve years he had been on an opiate substitute and had then tried to “kick the habit”.
He said the defendant had been “intimidated” out of his address in Derry/Londonderry and moved to Ballymena.
District Judge Nigel Broderick told the defendant: “You have to understand that going in and stealing items is not the answer to your problems”.
The judge said he would give Green a chance to address his addiction issues by putting him on Probation for a year.
He said that as the defendant had limited income; had ongoing debts and was paying compensation if he added a requirement to pay for the goods stolen in Ballymena it might “lead him in to more crime”.