Jailed after second shoplifting conviction

editorial image

A Coalisland man convicted of shoplifting for the second time has been imprisoned.

Appearing before East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court in Dungannon on Wednesday was Stanislav Vcelka, 50, from Gortmyre.

He was convicted of stealing batteries and tinned meat to the value of £50.41 from Asda on March 31 and also of going equipped for theft on the same date.

The court heard how he cut the lining of his coat in order to commit the theft.

“The defendant does not accept (his guilt in) the matter,” Vcelka’s solicitor told the court.

“He has a modest criminal record including three offences in 2010 but nothing since.

“Mr Vcelka is in poor health following a car accident in 2009 which left him with serious injuries to his back.

“Prior to this incident he had a substantial work history and he deserves credit for that.”

Deliberating over sentence, District Judge John Meehan noted, “He did exactly the same thing in 2010. This court sent him to custody and, on appeal, the sentence was suspended.

“Therefore he had no penalty for that conviction... and the sentence has not achieved what would have been hoped.”

Turning to the defendant, he said, “You have reason to be grateful to the County Court. Their message was: do not do this again or face custody.

“You organise yourself, slashing the lining of your clothes to conceal goods, multiple cans of meats that you bizarrely went on your oath to say that police had not found them on you.”

Judge Meehan then handed down prison sentence totalling two months.

Bail for appeal was set at £200.