A LISNASKEA man has been jailed after police discovered four iPads stolen from a primary school, burning in a garden the day after the premises were broken into.
The iPads were part of a much larger heist from Moat Primary School, Lisnaskea during a burglary on November 26 2017.
Enquires led police to Dylan Stephen Douglas James Phair (24) from Castlebalfour Park, Lisnaskea who was detained at his mother’s home the day after the burglary. A fire was noted in the rear garden and officers discovered the remains of four iPads and their cases, which were identified as some of those taken from the school.
The total loss of these four iPads was £1193.20.
Phair was arrested and during interview denied the offences when put to him. It was later accepted there was nothing to link him to the actual burglary, and on reaching court he admitted handling stolen property and damaging it by burning.
During a sentencing hearing at Enniskillen Magistrates Court, a defence lawyer said his client has a previous record, although “not the most prolific for someone his age.”
He conceded there is a previous conviction for handling stolen goods, but the bulk of offending has been for Class A and B drugs possession and motoring offences.
It was also accepted Phair is in breach of a suspended sentence.
Referring to the content of a pre-sentence report, the defence agreed Phair had been “reluctant to discuss the issue”.
He said, “My client made disclosures of engagement in a previous enterprise with another person.
“His reluctance to discuss was not to seek self-protection, but more of a fraternal nature.”
He emphasised there was no evidence connecting Phair to the actual school burglary in which many more iPads were stolen.
Concluding the defence said, “My client may have handled stolen goods, he may have used drugs and he may have driving convictions. But when it comes to court he always accepts when he has done wrong and knows he needs to be punished.”
District Judge Michael Renahan remarked, “The significant aggravating feature is the iPads were school property and there was disruption caused by their theft. I have no hesitation in saying the custody threshold is met.”
Judge Renahan imposed a sentence of four months imprisonment.
However he decided not to activate the existing suspended sentence given Phair admitted the charges at an early stage.