Woman’s £600 Ballymena shoplifting spree was an ‘afternoon of madness’

The defendant committed offences at shopping centres including the Fairhill.

A WOMAN’S shoplifting spree in Ballymena in which she swiped goods, including clothing, worth over £600 has been described by her solicitor as an “afternoon of madness”.

Elisha McAteer (21), of Eastburn Avenue, Ballymoney, committed thefts at Tommy Hilfiger, New Look and Topshop in the Fairhill Centre and Primark, Superdrug and DV8 in the Tower Centre on July 30 this year.

She was detained at the Fairhill Centre.

At Ballymena Magistrates Court previously she admitted the theft and had also pleaded guilty to going equipped for theft with a pair of pliers.

Defence solicitor Denise Gillan said her client had a previously clear record.
The defendant was back at court on November 15 for sentencing after a report had been prepared for the judge.

At Thursday’s Court, Ms Gillan said it was an “afternoon of madness”.

The lawyer said her client had made a “cry for help” and after seeing her GP had been put on a waiting list for counselling.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said he was prepared to accept that “a number of factors” led to the behaviour and he noted the defendant was “embarrassed” and “remorseful” as he put McAteer on Probation for a year.

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