Burglar found in shop store receives custodial sentence

A burglar found lying in a storeroom with a jacket over him, was jailed for seven months at Dungannon Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 12:23 pm

Thomas James Coleman from Ivybank Park, Donaghmore, pleaded guilty to entering Peacocks at Market Square, Dungannon, on July 6, 2019.

The 28-year-old also admitted possessing the Class B drug Phenazepam on the same date.

A PPS lawyer said when challenged by the store manager the defendant ran out of an exit door into a car park.

The prosecutor said that he was later apprehended by police who were tasked to the incident.

Defence lawyer Blaine Nugent pointed out the defendant had a conviction for a similar offence for which he received a suspended sentence.

Mr Nugent explained that on this occasion Coleman had found himself homeless and was lying with a jacket over him in the store - his own jacket.

Coleman, who appeared via video-link from Maghaberry Prison told the judge he was on programme for his drugs habit and it was the best thing that every happened to him.

Deputy District Judge Laura Levers said she would give him an opportunity to move forward with his life.

She remarked that the sentence would not interfere with his expected release date.

She ordered Coleman to pay a £25 offender levy, and made an order for the destruction of the drug.

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