A Co Tyrone pair who used a foil bag in a “very professional” theft – which is the first entry on their records – have escaped a period of immediate custody.
In sentencing, the deputy district judge commented: “I am sceptical to the point of paranoid that this has not been your first or second time but it must be your last.”
Trevor Quinn, 50, and Jane Quinn, 53, both of Ballagh Road in Fivemiletown, pleaded guilty to theft and going equipped for theft at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, via videolink from their solicitor’s office.
Meanwhile, Jane Quinn also entered pleas to a further charge of theft and going equipped for theft.
Prosecution outlined that on December 14, police received a report from staff at Tesco Extra in Craigavon of two shoplifters, namely the defendants, being detained.
The pair were observed on CCTV placing items to the value of £140 into a foil lined bag and attempting to leave without making any effort to pay.
When interviewed, Mr Quinn made partial admissions to the offences, whilst Ms Quinn denied all allegations.
Ms Quinn was later connected to an earlier similar offence in which she acted alone at the same store on December 3, this time stealing a Frozen jigsaw valued at £10.
Prosecution informed the court that all items were recovered and fit for resale, with both defendants appearing with no record.
Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes commented: “If they were from any other EU country I would be asking for a record check. This was a very professional enterprise with the use of a foil lined bag.
“They would certainly have been unlucky to have been caught the first time they tried it.”
He continued: “If they were 16 or 17, there would be no problem but they have leapt from zero to 125 with no gap in between.”
Noting that Mr Quinn appeared to have been involved in only one of the incidents, Deputy District Judge Holmes handed him a conditional discharge for 12 months.
Turning to the co-defendant, he commented: “I am sceptical to the point of paranoid that this has not been your first or second time but it must be your last.”
Ms Quinn was sentenced to two months in prison suspended for 12 months.