BRUSH WITH THE LAW: Toothbrush thief nabbed by cop who was in Ballymena shop to probe earlier theft


Ballymena Magistrates Court

A police officer who was in a shop to download CCTV images in relation to a previous theft, then spotted the same shoplifter back in the shop stealing a £35 toothbrush.

Neil Francis Blaney (36), of no fixed abode, committed a string of offences at Boots the chemists in Ballymena, the town’s Magistrates Court heard on Thursday.

He had also stolen razors and skincare products with a total value of around £600.

On one occasion he took items before going back to the store to get a prescription and was identified from CCTV.

Defence barrister Neil Moore said the defendant was a drug addict and the offences were always going to be detected as Blaney used the pharmacy in Boots regularly.

However, in his “addled mind” he was stealing to get money to buy drugs.

Jailing the defendant for six months, District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was a “very sad state of affairs”.

The judge said the defendant had a very lengthy record “no doubt fuelled by your drug addiction”.


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