A Ballymena shoplifter allegedly high on drugs laced with ‘horse tranquilliser’ claimed he, stole-to-order, £110 worth of scented candles and air fresheners after being threatened by an unknown male to get the items to re-pay a debt owed by his brother.
Dale McKee (25), of Nursery Close, committed the thefts at Poundland in Ballymena on October 5 this year.
A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday that McKee told police an unknown male had threatened him in the Harryville area of Ballymena and told him to, steal-to-order, the candles and fresheners.
McKee claimed the man said it was because of a debt the defendant’s brother owed him.
Defence barrister Aaron Thompson said McKee had just got out of jail at the time where he “had been illegally using heroin in prison or whatever substitute he could get”.
Mr Thompson said when McKee was released from custody he was offered ‘Blues’ which were not the normal type but “a concoction of a drug which involved horse tranquillisers” and McKee had “lost control of himself” and carried out the shoplifting.
District Judge Nigel Broderick jailed McKee for six months.
He said McKee had a very poor record and that until the defendant reached the day that he realised he needed help for his drug addiction no amount of offers of help from the authorities were likely to come to fruition.