Jail warning for man stealing from garage

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A warning was given to a 28-year-old man last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court that if he did breached a court order he would be going directly to prison.

Kevin Dale, Grove Hill, Banbridge, admitted entering a house at Scarva Road, Banbridge, with intent to steal on June 19 this year.

He also admitted driving while disqualified and not having insurance on the same date.

Dale was given an enhanced combination order of 100 hours community service and 18 months probation.

For the motoring offences he was also banned from driving for 12 months.

The court heard that on June 19 this year at 8.05pm the injured party returned home and saw a car, with its boot open, in his driveway.

The garage door was open and a man walked out. The injured party told him to go away and he got into the car and drove off.

On checking the garage the home owner discovered that a petrol strimmer, an electric saw and a hedge strimmer had all been moved to the door area.

When Dale was arrested the other offences came to light.

He admitted being in the driveway at the time, claiming his young son had to go to the toilet and denied going into the garage.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, pointed out that there was a live nine month suspended sentence, imposed for theft, on the defendant’s record.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

A barrister representing Dale said he had been disqualified from driving in August 2014 for 18 months and this was due to expire in February next year.

He said that a suspended sentence imposed in 2012 had been put into effect and Dale had served five months in July 2015.

Judge Copeland said that Dale was currently looking at an 18 month sentence here but he was going to shorten proceedings.

He told the defendant that normally he would be going to prison but there was now a provision, a last ditch chance, for him to turn his lifestyle around.

Dale’s barrister said he had gone over the prospect of an enhanced combination order with him and Dale would agree with it.

Judge Copeland said the probation report had assessed Dale at a high likelihood of re-offending and that that custody threshold had been crossed in this case.

He said the defendant had an appalling record with a history of criminal convictions including alcohol and drug misuse.

Imposing the community service and probation Judge Copeland said that any breach of the order by Dale would mean he would go directly to prison.