Licence revoked after man stole 61p sanitiser

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man who stole a hand sanitiser valued at 61p from a local shop has been sent to jail after his licence for other offences was revoked.

Joseph Ferguson, of Bonds Hill, pleaded guilty to stealing the hand sanitiser from Superdrug in Ferryquay Street on June 6.

Deputy District Judge Paul Conway fined the 35-years-old £50 for the theft.

He imposed an immediate warrant for the fine and a default period of five days in prison after he was told the defendant’s licence had been revoked.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard Ferguson was seen on CCTV concealing the bottle of hand sanitiser in his jacket pocket. He left the store without making any payment.

During police interview the defendant made full admissions.

Defence Counsel Eoghan Devlin told the court his client is originally from Belfast but is now living in the Waterside with his partner.

He said Ferguson’s girlfriend was unwell and in a ‘misguided attempt to help out domestically’ his client took the hand sanitiser.

The barrister added that the defendant is unlikely to be released from custody for some time no matter what sentence is imposed for the theft.

Fining Ferguson and setting the default period, Deputy District Judge Paul Conway said ‘in the case of 61p, a custodial sentence would be disproportionate.’

He added the impact of breaching the licence ‘on his liberty is probably going to be quite severe in any event.’