‘A dog in the street would have known these goods were stolen’, says judge


The district judge said it was ‘very easy to resolve the case’

A Ballinamallard mechanic found in possession of stolen goods has been found guilty after appearing at Fermanagh Magistrates Court.

District Judge Liam McNally, said it was ‘very easy to resolve the case’ concerning three charges of receiving stolen goods.


He did not sentence the defendant, 20-year old Lee Williams, of Drummurry Court immediately, but rather adjourned until July 22 for a short sentence report.

The stolen goods included a Mountfield Express lawnmower belonging to Gordon Thompson, various tools, equipment, machinery and ride on motors belonging to Roy Roulston, as well as red Clarke Welder, also belonging to Mr Roulston.

Denying the charges against him Williams took the stand and explained that on November 12, 2012 he had been interviewed by police about a number of items he had received after a phone call from a business associate.
Williams explained that he had been asked if he was interested in a few socket sets to which he agreed and the items were brought down to his place of work.

He arrived back briefly at the garage that evening to collect two tyres in one of the buildings and when he collected them he observed a couple of sockets and cases of tools.

When asked by defence barrister Heather Phillips if he had seen a quad bike, any power tools or any extra buckets, he said he had not and that all he had seen were ten boxes of sockets and tools.

After claiming to be unable to get a chance to look at the items for a number of days, Williams was interviewed by police who asked him if he knew the items he had received were stolen.

He told them he did not and told them he was selling them for another man. When asked if he had questioned the origin of the items received, Williams said he thought ‘they were more rubbish than anything else’.


In cross examination the prosecutor asked Williams what he thought of the man he had received the phone call from to which he replied: “I didn’t think very much of him, I thought he was a drug dealer.”

The prosecutor then questioned why he had taken the call and why he didn’t ask where the goods had came from, considering his opinion of the man.

The prosecutor asked the defendant had he dealt with his associate previously and Williams confirmed he had dealings a few days earlier when he had given him a car.

It was submitted by the prosecutor that the defendant had created a false impression of himself to the court and referred to the fact that he had been spoken to by police regarding another transaction with the associate.

The district judge said the evidence acquired showed the goods had been found at his place of work and that he had acknowledged receipt of items.

He said that Williams did not want to ask questions about where the goods had came from and didn’t care about their origin.

“You knew quite well, a dog in the street would have known these goods were stolen items,” commented the judge.

He told Williams he was in danger of a custodial sentence and couldn’t give him any credit for his plea as he never admitted his guilt.

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