Security guard left holding thief’s hoodie after struggle

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A Cookstown man struggled with a security guard after making off with a bottle of alcohol from the Tesco store in Dungannon, East Tyrone Magistrates Court was told.

Before the court was John McShane (21), with an address at Molesworth Street, who was placed on Probation for 12 months.

McShane admitted assaulting the guard and stealing the alcohol, valued at £11, on October 24 last.

District Judge John Meehan told the defendant that it was clear he had an issue with alcohol which he needed to address.

He ordered McShane to participate in any programmes or courses directed by his supervising officer.

Mr Meehan also ordered the defendant to pay £100 compensation to the security guard.

Counsel prosecuting said McShane went into the store’s alcohol department with another male and the guard noticed him shoving the bottle of alcohol into his hoodie top.

He said the defendant then exited the store and the guard followed him.

Counsel said McShane began running and was caught by the guard in the car park where a struggle ensued.

He said the defendant pulled off his hoodie and the guard was left holding it as he ran off. The lawyer said the alcohol was recovered and the guard was left with red marks round his neck.

Counsel said McShane was arrested by police on October 31 in connection with the incident and told police he had no recollection of it and denied assaulting the guard.

A defence lawyer said it had been “a very unsavoury incident” both the theft and the confrontation with the security guard.

He stressed that McShane had one previous conviction and asked the court to give him credit for his limited record.

The lawyer said the defendant has expressed remorse and had not taken any issue with the identification process.

He explained that the defendant had been promised a job and when this did not materialise he went out for a couple of days drinking.

The lawyer added that since the incident the McShane was no longer consuming alcohol.