Judge takes dim view of ‘thieving tourism’

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TWO women and a man pleaded guilty to shoplifting charges, involving more than £1,600, at stores in Magherafelt and Cookstown when they appeared at Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

Before the court were Bernadette McCann (43), Toni McMahon (25) and 32-year-old Paul Gabriel Kane, all with Belfast addresses, who also admitted going equipped for theft, handling stolen goods and theft.

The alleged offences took place at Sallys Hair and Beauty; Peacocks, Next, New Look and Poundstretchers on March 11 last year.

Adjourning the case until September 5 for pre-sentencing reports, District Judge Des Perry described it as “thieving tourism.”

He told the accused that because they had become too well known in their home town they had decided to go to outlying towns for thieving.

Mr Perry warned that he took a “dim view” of this type of crime and said traders in outlying towns already had enough to put up with and needed to be protected.