When a coat containing an iPhone and cash was left on a fence while a man did gardening work a 31-year-old man stole it, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.
Kyle Vincent Burns, Bronte Park, Loughbrickland, admitted the theft of the phone and cash to the value of £650 on January 28 this year.
The court heard that the injured party was doing some gardening work at Hillhead Park in Banbridge and had taken off his coat, hanging it on a fence.
When he returned later he found the coat had gone but found it 200 yards away although the phone and cash were missing.
The defendant had taken the phone into a mobile phone shop to get it valued and the police were called.
When interviewed Burns said he found the coat and it contained the phone and £1.30 in cash. The injured party claimed there was £45 in cash taken from the coat.
A barrister representing the defendant said he didn’t have the most voluminous record but a pre-sentence report may be necessary. This was his first and only dishonesty matter.
He added that the phone was recovered and that his client was currently doing community service.
District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, told Burns ‘this was a mean offence’ taking advantage of a man who was going about an honest day’s work.
He added that the least he expected the return of the money and for the defendant to do work on behalf of the community.
Judge Copeland adjourned the case until April 12 for a specific sentence report concerning community service.