Belfast Telegraph

Ex-taxi driver stole six toys 'as cry for help' after crash deaths

A former taxi driver involved in a horrific smash in which two young women died spiralled into depression in the wake of the tragedy, a court has heard.

Christopher Wilson (42), of Glenmanus Park, Portrush, Co Londonderry, appeared before North Antrim Magistrate's Court yesterday to plead guilty to the theft of six model tractors in an incident branded "bizarre" by the judge.

The court was told that on St Patrick's Day this year Wilson stole the tractors with a total value of £143.32.

Court heard staff at McElderry's shop in Ballymoney reported the shoplifting to police.

When spoken to by police Wilson admitted to being in the area at the time of the incident.

He then handed officers a bin bag carrying the models and admitted taking them.

Defence for Wilson described the case as "very unusual".

"He parked his car right in front of the shop in Ballymoney," his solicitor said.

"He went in and out of the shop on three occasions, on each occasion taking some of the toy tractors.

"It was very difficult to do anything but draw attention to himself.

"A customer went to staff and said there was a man acting suspiciously around the tractors.

"Two months later police go to his door and he makes a full admission."

The court was told all the tractors were still in their boxes and fit for resale.

"The items stolen were of absolutely no use to this man," the defence solicitor said.

He added that it may have been "something of a cry for help" by Wilson.

"This was not a crime motivated by money," he said.

The court heard Wilson had suffered from depression since being the driver of a taxi which was involved in a road traffic collision which resulted in the deaths of two women in 2006.

District Judge Richard Wilson described the theft of the tractors as "bizarre".

"It certainly doesn't seem to be something motivated by personal gain," he added.

The case was adjourned until next month to allow time for a Pre-Sentence Report.

Belfast Telegraph

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