Man jailed over £30,000 shop ram-raid
A West Belfast man has been handed a five-year sentence for his involvement in a ram-raid at a men's clothing store.
Patrick O'Rawe was informed he would spend half the term in prison, followed by two-and-a-half years on licence when he is released from custody, after he admitted four charges.
The 26-year-old, from Albert Street, was part of a gang that ram-raided Rio Menswear at Wellington Place and stole clothing that was never recovered.
Belfast Crown Court heard the total loss to the business owner, including the value of the stolen clothes and damage to the premises, was more than £30,000.
Judge Patricia Smyth branded the incident "an affront to the public".
The court heard that around 3am on September 20, 2015, a stolen car with false number plates was driven into the window of the clothes store and then onto to Divis Street, where it was crashed and abandoned.
O'Rawe was linked to the vehicle by his DNA.
Judge Smyth accepted that while the defendant drove the car after the ram-raid, there was no evidence to suggest he had been behind the wheel during the crime, but rather had been a passenger. However, O'Rawe did plead guilty to burgling Rio Menswear, stealing clothes, and three driving offences.