Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Woman on trial over king prawns theft charge

A woman has gone on trial accused of stealing a packet of prawns from a supermarket.

Arija Kehere is accused of stealing the king prawns from Sainsbury's in Armagh.

A store detective told the jury at Newry Crown Court he saw the accused place the £6.99 prawns in a navy bag before paying for other items before leaving the shop.

The store detective told the court he arrested the Co Armagh woman outside.

The court heard the detective had been head-hunted to work for the firm due to his efficiency.

He had made 107 arrests in one year and was described as Sainsbury's guardian angel.

Mrs Kehere, of Main Street, Keady, denies the charges.

Last month, new measures to tackle minor criminality completed their passage through the Assembly.

The new Justice Bill — which will receive Royal Assent soon — introduces police fixed penalty notices of £80 for first-time shoplifting.

Mrs Kehere’s case comes just days after Strabane woman Alison Hewitt won her appeal against a prison sentence for stealing jeans worth just £10.

The single parent was originally jailed for three months.

Last Friday the Court of Appeal ruled the original three-month prison sentence was “manifestly excessive” and ordered her to serve 100 hours community service instead.

And in February, a mother-of-two was cleared by a jury of stealing school shirts worth £5.25.

Eileen Millar (40), from Belfast, broke down after being found not guilty by a jury of stealing three school shirts from Tesco in a case that nearly ruined her marriage.

Mrs Millar’s solicitor has also hit out at recent criticism of defendants who opt to have their cases heard before a jury in a Crown Court rather than being dealt with in the lower Magistrates Court. Mrs Millar said she felt she had no option but to ask for a jury trial after her case faced legal delays in the Magistrates Court.

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