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Thief who stole engagement ring from woman’s north Belfast home ‘doesn’t know’ what he did with it

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The accused was jailed for 10 months

The accused was jailed for 10 months

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The accused was jailed for 10 months

A thief who stole a woman’s engagement ring after being invited into her home has been jailed for 10 months.

Anthony Wylie, 26, told Belfast Magistrates’ Court he can’t remember what happened to the band, taken along with a phone and debit card he then used to go on a fraud spree.

“I must have sold it, I don’t know, but if I come across it, I will give it back,” he suggested.

Wylie, of Flush Park in Lisburn, Co Antrim, pleaded guilty to theft and multiple counts of fraud and attempted fraud by false representation.

Prosecutors said that after he was invited into the house in north Belfast on November 20 last year, the woman decided to clean her kitchen.

She took off her engagement ring and set it on a sink, only realising later that it had gone missing.

Two days later Wylie returned to the address to steal her mobile phone and assorted cards.

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Subsequent checks with her bank established that a debit card had been used at a series of shops to make transactions totalling £156.75.

Further attempts at other retailers were declined due to insufficient funds.

In a separate case, Wylie also admitted attempted aggravated burglary and possessing an offensive weapon with intent.

The court heard he appeared outside a house at Hallidays Road in Belfast on November 22, shouting and carrying a knife.

A woman at the property locked the door while her daughter challenged Wylie, who apologised and claimed he had been chased by unknown assailants.

Defence barrister Michael Boyd attributed his client’s offending to a history of drug taking.

But Deputy District Judge Liam McNally demanded to know what had happened to the engagement ring.

Wylie told him: “I was under the influence of drugs, I can’t remember where I put it.”

His pledge to return the ring to the victim if it turns up received a lukewarm response.

“The indication of remorse is not present,” Mr McNally held.

Imposing a total of 10 months custody for the offences, he also ordered Wylie to pay £156.75 compensation to the woman for the debit card fraud.


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