Stolen laptops found at woman’s house

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Twice when laptops were stolen in burglaries the items were found in the home of a 35-year-old woman, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last week.

She was Lisa Reynolds who was living in Banbridge at the time of the offences but now has an address at Rathmore Gardens, Antrim.

For dishonestly receiving stolen goods between March 28 and March 31, 2015, and handling stolen goods on March 19 last year she was put on probation for 12 months.

Reynolds also admitted the theft of make up valued at £37 from Tescos on November 12, 2014. Deputy District Judge Paul Conway deferred sentencing in this matter for six months until October 27.

The court heard that on November 12, 2014, police went to Tesco on the Castlewellan Road in Banbridge after a report of a shoplifter. Reynolds was seen on CCTV lifting make up items and leaving the store without paying for them.

A search of her property uncovered the goods but they were not fit for re-sale.

On March 30 last year a burglary took place when a female left a door open and a laptop was stolen.

Police spoke to the defendant who said that someone had come to her door and sold it to her. On March 19 another laptop was stolen from a house and it was found at the defendant’s home. She said a man had sold it to her.

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

A barrister representing Reynolds said that everything started to go wrong for the defendant in 2012 after she had lost her mother in 2011.

The lawyer added that things went rapidly downhill and she started to abuse prescription medication before turning to illicit medication.

He said that since there had been no further offending from March of last year and Reynolds had moved away from Banbridge.

The barrister added she had also moved away from persons in the area who were not beneficial to her and they led to her getting involved in this behaviour. She is in a much better place, he continued, and would welcome any help probation could give to her.

Deputy District Judge Conway said Reynolds had experienced a downturn in her life but that was no excuse for these offences.

He said he would deal with the case in a unique manner and imposed a probation order for the two handling offences.

Deferring sentence in the theft matter he said he wanted an updated report on October 27 to see if the defendant was co-operating with probation.

He told Reynolds that if she did co-operate then a suspended sentence hanging over her would not be activated but if she did not co-operate she was at a real risk of going to jail.

“The ball’s in your court,” he commented.