Heroin addict stole food from shops

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A Heroin addict who stole food and clothes from local shops has been warned if he does not compensate the victims he will go to prison.

District Judge Barney McElholm gave the warning to 41-year-old Brian McCool.

McCool, of Crannog Park, Strathfoyle, pleaded guilty to eight charges of theft, attempted theft and failing to answer bail.

He also admitted possessing the Class A drug Heroin.

All the offences were committed between December 7, last year and May 26.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard that the defendant stole food worth over £316 from a Day Today store and a Spar in Strathfoyle.

He also stole clothes worth £940 from Debenhams.

Mr. Eoghan Devlin, defending, said his client ‘has an illness and he has great difficulty in managing that’.

He told the court McCool does not commit offences or come to the attention of police when he is free of drugs.

The barrister said the 41-year-old is not a ‘danger to anyone but himself.’

He added his client is ‘serious and earnest’ about addressing his addiction issues.

Adjourning the sentence for three months, District Judge McElholm said ‘it is quite clear in some instances the defendant was stealing food because he was spending all his money on Heroin.

“In other instances he was stealing readily saleable goods in order to get money to buy Heroin.”

The judge told McCool: “I want to see the victims, particularly the local smaller shops, compensated.”

The 41-years-old was warned if he does not pay this compensation ‘you will go to prison and it will be for a lengthy period’.

McCool will appear in court again on November 18.