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Newry 'lout' stole dog kennels to fund drug habit, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 05/08/2016

McEvoy was refused bail.
McEvoy was refused bail.

A "lout" who stole pet shop dog kennels to fund his drug habit must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled.

Stephen McEvoy targeted three separate stores in Newry last week, taking shelters worth £200 and selling them on, prosecutors said.

Refusing bail to the 24-year-old, Lord Justice Gillen held him to be out of control.

He said: "People who own these pet shops work hard, and have louts like this stealing their dog kennels."

McEvoy, of Thomas Street in Bessbrook, Co Armagh, is awaiting sentence after admitting three counts of theft.

Prosecution counsel Robin Steer said he went into three stores in the Newry area on July 27, making small purchases of a dog lead or a pet treat.

McEvoy took the kennels as he exited the shops, the court heard. One was valued at £100 and the other two at £50 each.

Opposing bail, Mr Steer claimed the defendant has a bad record and a "huge number" of pending cases.

"Police believe this relates to his problem with drugs," the barrister added.

Conor Byrne, defending, told the court McEvoy sold the kennels almost immediately, but has pledged to pay back the shops in full.

He claimed his client's substance abuse stems from a previous attack where he was stabbed with a hypodermic needle.

The incident left McEvoy requiring medication for anxiety over the fear of being infected, according to his lawyer.

But Lord Justice Gillen denied the application due to the risk of further offences.

Referring to the value of the thefts, he said: "It's not small money to hardworking shopkeepers who run a decent business and then are afflicted by the likes of this applicant wantonly stealing their goods.

"This young man in completely out of control."

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