A foreign national man told police he stole a duvet cover from a Magherafelt department store to get locked up as he had lost his job and family, the local Magistrates Court heard.
Jacek Fejkez, 46, of Ashgrove Park, Magherafelt, pleaded guilty to stealing the single duvet cover, valued £19.99 belonging to Paul Cuddy on May16.
Describing it as as a very sad case, District Judge Alan White imposed a £115 fine.
A prosecuting lawyer said at 4pm an employee at the store observed a male acting suspiciously and told the owner.
She said the defendant had put a single duvet bed cover under his jacket and he was followed out of the store by the owner.
Counsel added that police attended and during interview Fejkez admitted to stealing the duvet because he had lost his job and family.
A defence lawyer said it was a “desperate act”, but stressed that the defendant is a skilled operative who had been offered work in London which he planned to take up.