A LITHUANIAN man who was arrested for shoplifting just days before planning on leaving Fermanagh for Germany has been sentenced to two months in prison.
Tomas Chodosevicius (37) with an address at Ring Der Bauarbeiter, Str 63, Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court via video link from Maghaberry Prison on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to theft and going equipped for theft.
Chodosevicius, who was aided by a translator, had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges and had been remanded in custody since he was arrested in early August, however he changed his plea to guilty on Monday.
The court was told that on August 3 police were called to Tesco in Enniskillen where staff had detained two men for shoplifting, one of whom was the defendant who then gave his address as Teemore but told them he was moving to Germany in a matter of days.
CCTV footage showed the men lifting items, valued at £93.68, and putting the in a trolley. The footage then showed the other man, who had previously been before the court in relation to the incident, taking a pair of wire cutters from Chodosevicius’ front pocket and using them to take the security tags off whiskey bottles. They then placed the items in a black backpack.
When arrested and interviewed, Chodosevicius, who had no previous convictions, initially denied the offence. He again denied it when charged. Both men also denied knowing each other before the incident, and in court on Monday Chodosevicius said he had just met the other man before entering the store.
When asked to respond to the prosecution’s account of what had happened Chodosevicius, who was not legally represented, said there was “a lot of truth to it” but said he personally didn’t put anything in his pockets or a bag, and said Tesco staff would confirm that.
District Judge Nigel Broderick sentenced Chodosevicius to two months in prison, but pointed out the defendant had been in custody since August 3. Judge Broderick said while it was for the prison to calculate his release date, not the court, he did not anticipate Chodosevicius would have much longer to serve in custody.
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Posted: 9:06 am September 10, 2016