Belfast Telegraph

Drug addict Engelen bit Belfast security staff after shop theft

By Alan Erwin

A heroin addict who bit security guards trying to stop her for stealing lip gloss has been handed a six-month suspended prison sentence.

Keeva Engelen was also ordered to pay £300 compensation to the two victims she attacked outside Boots pharmacy in Belfast.

The 21-year-old, of Albertbridge Road in the city, also took nearly £300 worth of clothes, jewellery and cosmetics in a separate raid on a department store.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard how she left Boots without paying for the balm valued at £2.69 on June 27. When a security guard tried to detain her she bit him on the finger, leaving it bloodied and with teeth marks.

A colleague was punched and kicked when he tried to intervene, according to the prosecution. As Engelen was being restrained, she bit into his forearm, causing bleeding and bruising.

A month earlier she stole goods valued at £289.70 from Primark in the city centre.

Engelen pleaded guilty to both theft incidents and the assaults.

Defence counsel Luke Curran told the court she was seeking help for heroin addiction issues at the centre of her offending.

Urging District Judge Fiona Bagnall not to send his client to jail, he said: "Rather than deterring her from reoffending, it's more likely to put her in contact with others, where there's likely to be a downward spiral."

Imposing total prison sentences of six months, Mrs Bagnall suspended the terms for up to two years. The judge added: "She will pay compensation of £150 to each of the security guards."

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