Dungannon heroin addict jailed for ‘sustained heist’ in which he stole charity box and meat

Duffy was also caught with items he had not paid for at Tesco
Duffy was also caught with items he had not paid for at Tesco

A Dungannon heroin addict who went on a “sustained heist” while awaiting sentence for theft, has been jailed for almost a year and a half.

Appearing before East Tyrone Magistrates Court to be sentenced for five thefts was Dolan Duffy, 29, from Irish Street.

“Not only is he not delivering on repeated assurances... but he is repeating offences,” said District Judge John Meehan at the hearing.

“Once he gets his hands on drugs there is only one thing on his mind - how to get more.

“Every avenue for rehabilitation has been investigated. You’ve simply used the conscientious scrutiny of the court... to do more crime.

“You will not move the bench again,” he went on.

“You believe yourself excused from causing bother to others. The only thing to be done is to make sure that you are off the streets.”

The court heard how staff at Tesco in Dungannon stopped Duffy from leaving the store with goods that he had not paid for on October 3.

A DVD player and electric toothbrush wrapped in tinfoil was recovered.

The court next heard how on March 30 staff reported that a charity donation box had been stolen from a bank in Dungannon.

They identified Duffy entering the building on CCTV and placing the charity box under his jacket.

The last case took place on three occasions in June from a Dungannon store and saw Duffy steal meat worth £225.25.

On all occasions he left the store without paying and was caught on CCTV.

None of the meat was recovered for resale.

“His record makes poor reading,” said Mr Noel Dillon, defending. “And he was given an opportunity by this court and the County Court.

“He was stealing to feed his drug habit.”

Handing down a number of prison sentences that totalled 17 months, Judge Meehan called Duffy an “experienced thief”.

“You secured bail to get your freedom and then used that freedom to steal a charity box.

“That is particularly repugnant, to steal from people who need help because of poverty, illness or despair.

“You persuaded the County Court to extend you an opportunity to deal with matters within the community... and four days later went on a sustained heist where the goods were never recovered.”