Christmas lights theft charge

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A man has appeared in court accused of stealing £70 worth of Christmas lights from a local store.

Damien Gibbons, of Capall Court, faces two charges of theft from Homebase on December 7.

It is alleged his stole £70 worth of Christmas lights and a pressure washer which costs £139.99.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that Gibbons has 201 previous convictions, including 82 for dishonesty offences.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said police fear the 39-year-old will commit further offences ‘particularly in the run up to Christmas’.

She added that Gibbons has breached court orders in the past.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley told the court his client was a ‘prolific offender’ in the past, but has not committed any offences in the last 18 months.

He said Gibbons is now in a settled relationship, is actively seeking work and volunteers locally.

District Judge Barney McElholm released Gibbons on his own bail of £500 with a surety of £500. He also banned the 39-year-old from entering any Homebase store in Northern Ireland.

The judge warned the defendant if there is any breach of bail he will be remanded in custody.

Gibbons will appear in court again on December 29.