Belfast Telegraph

'Mean thief' who stole from his grandmother to buy drugs is jailed

By Nevin Farrell

A thief who took jewellery from his grandmother's home and tried to sell it for drug money was told by a judge that he couldn't think of a "more mean, distressing burglary".

Kurtis Mitchell, from Brookfield Gardens, Ahoghill, Co Antrim, raided his granny's residence in the village in November when she was out.

The 23-year-old got a taxi into Ballymena to a jewellery shop to try and get cash for the items.

Jailing him for six months at Ballymena Magistrates Court, Judge Peter King said Mitchell had taken jewellery of "deep sentimental value, no doubt to fund a drug habit".

He said it was bad enough for a grandson to steal from his grandmother, but what made it more difficult was that she had given him support after he had stabbed a husband and wife in Ballymena's Moat Bar over access to a pool table.

Last month Mitchell was jailed for two and a half years for that offence. He is serving 12 months in prison with the rest on licence. Mitchell appeared in court via video link from Maghaberry Prison for the Ahoghill burglary.

He admitted charges of the theft of jewellery and cash and possessing cocaine on November 18 and also pleaded guilty to having amphetamine and cannabis on November 22.

Mitchell struck after his grandmother left her home that morning.

Defence barrister Michael Smith said Mitchell is due to be released this November for the Moat Bar stabbing.

He said the victim in the burglary was Mitchell's grandmother who had assisted him and helped him set up a home in Ahoghill to try and get him away from a "negative peer group".

Mr Smith said his client was "clearly intoxicated" on the day of the burglary.

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