Belfast Telegraph

Thief with 'appalling' record spared jail after stealing two bottles of wine

By Alan Erwin

A thief with an "appalling" record of more than 100 previous offences was spared further imprisonment today for stealing two bottles of wine.

Mario Felloni received a nine-month suspended jail term after being convicted of raiding a south Belfast off licence.

The 34-year-old, who address was given as HMP Maghaberry, carried out his latest theft in January this year.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard the manager at Russells Shop 4 U on Botanic Avenue was alerted and viewed CCTV recordings.

Felloni was identified on the footage lifting two bottles of wine valued at £21.68 and leave without paying.

Defence counsel Sean O'Hare confirmed his client is currently in custody on other matters for which he hopes to secure bail soon.

Following submissions Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall told Felloni: "You have an absolutely appalling record."

The court heard his 114 previous convictions include 21 other counts of theft.

Probation and community service imposed in the past has failed to work, according to the judge.

Imposing a nine-month prison sentence for the latest theft, she decided to suspend the term for two years.

But she warned Felloni: "If you get out on bail once an address is found for you make sure you don't get into any trouble for the next two years."

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