Helped girlfriend to steal speaker during a drinking binge

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During a three day drinking binge a 31-year-old man helped his girlfriend steal a portable speaker from Tescos, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.

Initially Shane Curtis Whitla, Chestnut Place, Banbridge, denied the theft and the case was listed last week as a contest.

But on the day the charge was put to him again and this time he pleaded guilty.

The court heard that on February 26 this year Whitla and his girlfriend were in Tescos on the Castlewellan Road, Banbridge.

They left without paying for a speaker, valued at £25.

CCTV showed Whitla take the speaker and turn his back to the camera before putting it in a carrier bag.

His girlfriend was cautioned in relation to the matter.

A barrister representing the defendant said Whitla had been on an alcohol binge for three days and had little recollection of the incident.

He explained that his client’s girlfriend had accepted her part and she was the principal offender.

The barrister said that on seeing the CCTV on the morning of the court Whitla accepted he was playing some role and pleaded guilty on the basis that it was a joint enterprise.

He added that Whitla had a live suspended sentence on his record and this was a case for a pre-sentence report.

The case was adjourned until June 11 so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.