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Man with Asperger syndrome who stole almost £1k of Tesco goods jailed

By Alan Erwin

Published 25/08/2016

One of the stealing sprees was carried out while he was waiting sentence for the earlier thefts.
One of the stealing sprees was carried out while he was waiting sentence for the earlier thefts.

A man with Asperger syndrome who stole nearly £1,000 worth of goods from Tesco stores has been jailed for 10 months.

Daniel Kerr took PlayStation controllers and trolley-loads of goods during three separate raids on branches in Carrickfergus and east Belfast.

One of the stealing sprees was carried out while he was waiting sentence for the earlier thefts.

The 23-year-old, of Salia Avenue in Carrickfergus, was granted bail pending an appeal against the prison term imposed.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard he entered a Tesco in his hometown on May 5, filled a trolley full of items valued at £480 and left without paying.

Less than two weeks later he targeted another branch in Newtownbreda along with two other suspected thieves.

Prosecutors said they filled two trolleys with a range of items worth approximately £200 and exited.

Kerr was identified on CCTV footage and later admitted both thefts. But earlier this month he carried out a further raid on the supermarket's branch in Carrickfergus.

He was arrested after taking PS4 controllers valued at £294 and pleaded guilty once again.

A defence lawyer stressed Kerr's "traumatic history" of being diagnosed with Asperger's and severe drug problems.

"He became addicted to everything he could get his hands on," she told the court.

"This young man is crying out for help."

Ordering Kerr to serve four months in prison for the first two thefts, District Judge Liam McNally imposed a further six-month term for the latest stealing incident.

He told the accused: "Not only did you fail to attend probation, but you committed a further offence whilst awaiting sentence."

Bail was then fixed pending an appeal to be heard at a later date.

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