A man who stole a tester bottle of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue perfume intended to sell it on to get money as he was struggling financially, a defence solicitor told Ballymena Magistrates Court.
Vasile Bratianu (22), of Smithfield Place, Ballymena, has pleaded guilty to taking the perfume worth £57 from Boots in the town’s Tower Centre on April 27 this year.
Defence solicitor Connel Trainor told the court on Thursday the incident had already cost the defendant £207 as Boots had taken a civil action which Bratianu paid with the help of family and friends.
The court heard the unemployed father of two was receiving tax credit and family credit and his wife worked part time at Moy Park in Ballymena.
District Judge Peter King said since arriving in Northern Ireland at the start of 2018 the defendant, who is originally from Romania, already had nine convictions.
Mr Trainor said eight of the convictions were from the one incident.
Last August the same court heard that after being caught twice using a vehicle without insurance Bratianu claimed he wasn’t aware of the procedures in Northern Ireland and thought he was covered under the old owner’s policy.
The defendant came to police attention in March 2018 after twice going to Applegreen on the Crankill Road near Ballymena and filling up with a total of £83.96 worth of petrol and making off without paying.
He also had no driving licence and no MOT on both occasions.
For the Boots’ theft offence before Thursday’s Court the defendant was fined £250.