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Court News: Jailed for 'splurge of offending'

A man who admitted a series of thefts from various shops in Derry and Strabane has been jailed at Derry Magistrates Court.

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A man who admitted a series of thefts from various shops in Derry and Strabane has been jailed at Derry Magistrates Court.

Kevin Conaghan, 45, of Bradley Park in the Shantallow area of the city, faced seven theft charges as well as charges of criminal damage. The court heard that on December 15 police were called to Rockmills on Strand Road in Derry where a woman told them Conaghan had been throwing stones at her window and also at a van parked nearby.

The court was told when police arrived Conaghan was trying to force his way in to a communal area and struggled with police.
The court heard he later admitted the charges of criminal damage and said it was 'unintentional' and offered to pay.

The court heard what the judge described as 'a splurge of offending' in which goods valued at £3,378 were taken from various outlets including Homebase and Boots in Derry and ASDA in Strabane between May 1 to October 8 last . The court was told in each case, Conaghan entered shops and stole items ranging from aftershave through to TVs and powerwashers. The court heard £1,780 worth of goods had been recovered.

Defence counsel, Stephen Mooney, said Conaghan had spent some time in custody since being charged, adding he pleaded guilty and the offending was to get money to pay off gambling debts. He said there was no violence offered against any of the security staff who intervened in stopping Conaghan.

Deputy District Judge, Alan White, jailed Conaghan for a total 10 months, stating custody was the 'only option' in the case.

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