Turned to crime when he lost job

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When he lost his job a 19-year-old man turned to theft to provide for his girlfriend and young son, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Friday.

Dawid Rucinski, Queen Street, Portadown, appeared in court by way of videolink from Hydebank young offenders’ centre.

He admitted stealing clothing and electrical goods worth £200 from TK Maxx on October 23 last year, attempting to steal clothing valued at £100 from TK Maxx, stealing clothing valued at approximately £150 between October 1 and October 23 last year and cultivating a cannabis plant at Queen Street, Portadown.

Rucinski also pleaded guilty to stealing an I-pad at High Street Mall on October 3 and handling stolen goods, a Welder K24 watch between September 3 and October 14 last year.

The court heard that a man was at a gym on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown and left his watch, a Welder K24 worth £450, in his bag in the changing rooms. When he returned the watch was gone.

On October 14 he reported to police that he saw his watch being offered for sale on Gumtree for £45. It was being sold by a man in the Portadown area.

After inquiries police spoke to the defendant who immediately handed the watch to them. The serial number confirmed it belonged to the injured party.

Rucinski said he had bought it from a man he didn’t know for £15 and was selling it because he wanted to buy another watch.

On October 4 last year police received a report of a theft at High Street Mall in Portadown.

CCTV showed a man reaching behind a control service desk and removing an I-pad.

The defendant was identified and when police called at his home the item was recovered.

On October 23 police received a report of a theft at TK Maxx in the Abbey Centre, Newtownabbey.

Rucinski was seen putting goods in a black holdall and when police arrived he tipped the items out of the holdall before making his way to the exit.

He was stopped by police and when the car he was in was searched clothes and a number of electrical items were found.

After he was arrested for theft a search was carried out at his home and stolen clothing and a cannabis plant were found.

He admitted stealing the clothes from a shop in Lurgan and that the cannabis plant belonged to him. All the goods were fit for re-sale.

Mr Richard Monteith, representing the defendant, said Rucinski, who had a clear record, lost his job and turned to theft to provide for his girlfriend and young son.

He added that his client had made full admissions, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had spent 80 days on remand.

Mr Monteith said they were a series of offences over a short period of time and if the court was not minded to impose a suspended sentence he asked that the custodial sentence could be kept as short as possible.

“He has found custody very difficult and has attempted self harm on several occasions,” said Mr Monteith.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said she would take into account the plea and lack of record but the offences were so serious over a short period of eight weeks there was only one penalty she could impose.

For each offence she sentenced Rucinski to one month in custody with the terms to run concurrently with each other.