Belfast Telegraph

Thieving ex-Irish league footballer Davidson pays price for cheek

By Staff Reporter

A former Irish League footballer who stole two CDs from a supermarket saw his £150 fine increased to £200 because of his "attitude" in court.

Jamie Davidson (23), of Millfield, Ballymena, loudly said "What?" as he was sentenced in the town's Magistrates Court yesterday.

Davidson, who previously played for Ballymena United, once attracted the attention of English Premier League clubs before being injured.

A prosecutor told the court that on May 23 Davidson was in the town's main Tesco store when he stole the two CDs worth £22.

Davidson pleaded guilty to shoplifting.

Defence solicitor John McAtamney said his client had "fallen on hard times".

He added that Davidson had amassed "gambling debts" and committed crime in an attempt to pay those off.

He said there had been no further offending since the shoplifting incident in May.

At yesterday's court Davidson made his loud comment as District Judge Peter King told him he was being fined £150 for the matter.

The judge told him he needed to "adjust" his attitude, and upped the fine to £200.

Davidson was regarded as a top prospect in the Irish League, but his career was blighted by injury.

Five years ago it was reported that teams such as Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea City were scouting him.

He had been with his home town club since joining their youth set-up at the age of just six.

However, in 2013 he suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for a long period.

Subsequently he played at an amateur level.

Davidson had been before the same court in August. He pleaded guilty to a number of charges including stealing a jacket and pair of jeans worth £64.98 from New Look in Ballymena's Fairhill Centre, when he put the coat under his own coat. He also took two bottles of Coke worth £2.60 from Marks & Spencer and was caught with class C drugs diazepam and Valium.

At the same August hearing, Davidson pleaded guilty to stealing a vape tank and battery worth £68, the theft of a protein tub worth £65 from Holland & Barrett in Ballymena, and making off without paying a £43 taxi fare.

He was given a two-month prison term, suspended for one year.

The previous court heard Davidson had been at a "low ebb" after suffering the injury that ended his top-level career, and he also lost his job and split with his partner.

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