Shoplifter ‘thought he was being smart’


Enniskillen Magistrates Court

A SHOPLIFTER who put a more expensive kettle in a box of a cheaper one was caught stealing oods in the same Enniskillen store just days later.
Laurence Gallagher (46) of Bagh, Dromahair, Co Leitrim, pleaded guilt to theft and fraud by false representation at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday, where he appeared via videolink from Maghaberry Prison after being arrested last week.
Last Thursday, September 7, police were called to Asda shortly before 4pm after a man was caught shoplifting. When they arrived the were told the same man, Gallagher, had been involved in a case of fraud at the shop the previous Friday, September 1.
On that occasion, Gallagher took two kettles from a shelf, one that was worth £32 and one worth £12. He then took the kettles out of the box, put the £32 one in the £12 box, and paid for the £12 box with the £32 kettle inside.
Then, on Thursday, Gallagher was seen taking a small bottle of water from an unattended trolley, going into the bathroom, then emptying the bottle. Following this, the defendant took two torches and three chocolate bars and went to the self-service checkout, where he didn’t scan all the items he left with.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said Gallagher had a previous shoplifting conviction from 2008, and asked what had happened on that occasion. The solicitor said it had been a similar situation to the kettles, only involving radios.
Addressing the defendant, Judge Broderick said: “Mr Gallagher, this seems to the be the way you do things. You take dear items and put them in cheaper boxes. You probably think you’re being sophisticated and smart.”
Judge Broderick said Gallagher had been given a suspended sentence for his previous conviction, and that had seemed to be successful. He sentenced the Leitrim man to five months in prison, suspended for three years.

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