Defendant jailed for mobile theft as owner follows bus!


A stolen mobile phone started making animal noises when the thief attempted to access it, a court has heard.

The phone was stolen by 43-year-old Justin Patrick McCabe after the bus he was travelling on broke down.

The owner of the phone used an app to trace it and followed the bus to the city to get his phone back.

McCabe, whose address was given on court papers as Antrim Road, Belfast, pleaded guilty to stealing the £600 iPhone on July 9th.

He also admitted resisting police and possessing a class C drug.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the bus broke down in Castledawson and McCabe entered the cab of a lorry and stole the phone.

He then got on another bus to Derry and the owner used an app to trace the stolen phone.

As McCabe tried to access the stolen phone it began ‘quacking and ‘mooing’ at him.’

The owner pursued the bus, forced it to stop and got his phone back. However, he continued to follow the bus to the city and detained McCabe once he got off.

During police interview, McCabe denied stealing the phone.

He was searched and officers found 15 diazepam tablets.

It was revealed the 43-year-old is currently serving a prison sentence and is not due for release until December.

Defence solicitor, Seamus Quigley, said McCabe has been making efforts to stay out of trouble and deal with his addiction issues.

Jailing the 45-year-old for two months consecutive to his current sentence, District Judge Barney McElholm said ‘for completely selfish reasons he stole another person’s phone’.

‘These days these phones practically contain an individual life.’

The judge added it was an ‘absolutely scandalous thing to do’.