Prolific shoplifter from Dungannon had ‘no memory of taking items’

Dungannon Courthouse
Dungannon Courthouse

A ‘prolific’ shoplifter from Dungannon stole a DVD player and an electric toothbrush to finance his drug habit, a court has heard.

Appearing at East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court via video link from HMP Maghaberry was Dolan Duffy, 29, from Irish Street.

He pleaded guilty to the theft from Tesco in Beechvalley of items to the value of £57.50 on October 3.

He also admitted a charge of going equipped for theft on the same date.

The court heard how the defendant had been detained by staff in the supermarket after he made an attempt to leave the shop without paying for all his items.

He was discovered with a plastic bag lined with tinfoil with the items inside still with their tags on.

Mr Duffy was arrested but was not deemed fit to be interviewed until later. He subsequently gave a ‘no comment’ interview.

When he was shown CCTV footage at a second interview he told officers that he had no memory of the events as he had “taken something”.

Mr Noel Dillon, defending, told the court that his client was serving a four month prison sentence after it had been reduced on appeal.

He stated that this was because the judge accepted that it would be of benefit if Duffy could return to his Housing Executive property - which could only be held for three months in his absence - as it was the only stable factor in his life.

Mr Dillon asked he court not to interfere with any release date that might adversely affect Duffy’s tenancy before admitting that the intent of the theft had been to “finance his drug habit”.

Naming Duffy as a “prolific shoplifter”, District Judge John Meehan suggested that he would defer judgement in the case for three months until July 20.