Primark shoplifter found with knife

Editorial image.
Editorial image.

A woman who was found with a knife after she was caught shoplifting has been given a conditional discharge.

Christina Gillespie, of Bloomfield Park, pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon on October 7, last year.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the 21-year-old was stopped by security staff in Primark for shoplifting. When police arrived the store agreed to her being dealt with by a fixed penalty notice.

Gillespie was searched for stolen items and officers found a folding knife in her possession.

During police interview, she claimed she carried it for protection and always had it with her.

Seamus Quigley, defending, said the 21-year-old doesn’t have a criminal record and there is nothing to suggest she is a violent person.

However, he accepted that ‘if all of us went around carrying knives there would be an awful lot more knife crime’.

Mr Quigley said Gillespie is young woman concerned for her safety but no longer carries a knife.

District Judge Barney McElholm imposed a conditional discharge for two years and ordered the destruction of the knife.