A Derry man has admitted that he couldn’t remember stealing from a city-centre store because he was high on drugs at the time.

Gerald Kelly, 34, of Riverview Apartments on John Street, pleaded guilty to charges of theft and possession of Class C drug Diazepam on July 6 of this year.

The court heard that the defendant was discovered with three grey bomber jackets after stealing from Debenhams in the city centre along with two other men.

One of his co-accused who had a ‘very relevant record’ was dealt with by way of a suspended sentence, while the other was fined for resisting police.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said the 34-year-old was ‘substantially different in terms of his criminal antecedents’.

A Public Prosecutor explained that on the date in question police received a report of stolen goods from staff at the store.

The men responsible were said to have taken off in the direction of Craigavon Bridge.

Police officers located three men on John Street and they were identified as the perpetrators.

When searched the items of clothing were discovered in Kelly’s possession and police also found a ‘box of Diazepam tablets’.

During police interview the following day the defendant admitted he had taken Diazepam before committing the offence and ‘didn’t remember’.

However, he was shown CCTV footage and was able to identify himself.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said the facts of the case were ‘fair’ and his client ‘made admissions at the time’.

Deputy District Judge Brian Archer gave the defendant a fine of £250 for theft and £75 for possession of a class C drug which he has twenty weeks to pay.

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