A Co. Donegal couple have admitted stealing food and jewellery from a Derry store.
Patrick Boyce and his 20 year-old girlfriend Mandy Coyle, both of Main Street, Letterkenny, pleaded guilty to two thefts from Marks and Spencer on June 6 and June 9.
Boyce (34) also admitted making a false representation to obtain a credit note.
Derry Magistrate’s Court heard the couple stole a watch from the store, returned it and got a credit note.
They tried to exchange the credit note in Letterkenny for food and when they refused came back to Derry.
It was revealed the couple then stole further items because “they thought it was easy enough” and they had got away with it before.
Defence solicitor Maeliosa Barr said his clients were behind in rent and electricity payments and their landlord had threatened to evict them.
He said they stole the items to exchange them for food.
Mr Barr said his clients have no criminal record and had spent the weekend in custody.
He added they were unlikely to be before the court again in the future.
Imposing a conditional discharge for two years on Boyce and Coyle, District Judge Barney McElholm said it was a “foolish act borne out of desperation.”
He added: “In the times we live in people resort to ever more desperate measures but it’s no excuse for stealing.”