Cookstown man spared jail after stealing from Action Cancer charity

Action cancer

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A Cookstown man who admitted stealing almost £350 from Action Cancer has been sentenced to three months imprisonment.

East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court heard how police attended the Action Cancer charity shop on James Street on May 31 following the report of a theft by a member of staff who was supposed to have made two lodgements of cash totalling £344.

Court

Court

57-year-old Mark Reeves, from Killymoon Street, subsequently attended Cookstown Station and made a full admission, claiming that he needed the money for his family.

Ms Adrienne Stewart, defending, told the court that her client, who is originally from the south of England, had begun working at the charity two years before on a back-to-work scheme before becoming a volunteer.

She said he had quickly become a trusted member of staff. However, following the break-up of his marriage he claimed that people had begun calling at his home, saying that his former partner owed them money and acting in a threatening manner.

He further claimed that his daughter had fallen on troubled times due to drugs and that he had acted in “a sense of desperation”.

his was a premeditated, repeat offence against a charity ... you’ve made no restitution and you think that you’re problems should spare you from responsibility

Ms Stewart told the court that the defendant intended to pay back the sum that he took from the charity, but that he was finding it tough to do so since his house was broken into recently.

Handing down a three-month term of imprisonment, District Judge John Meehan told the defendant: “(Reading the pre-sentence report) I see limited victim awareness or regret from you. This was a premeditated, repeat offence against a charity ... you’ve made no restitution and you think that you’re problems should spare you from responsibility.”

He further imposed an offender’s levy of £25 and well as activating a suspended sentence of three months which he ordered run concurrently to the first term.