Full jury trial for £22 shoplifting case in Northern Ireland
A full jury trial is to be convened in the case of a woman charged with stealing £22.62 worth of goods from a Cookstown shop.
Following a hearing at Dungannon Magistrates Court, the accused became enraged at being ordered to sign bail and remonstrated with her solicitor before being escorted away by prison staff.
Dorothy Elaine Dawn Gardner (50), of Killucan Road, Cookstown, is accused of stealing household products on June 18, 2016. She was offered the choice of having the matter dealt with at Magistrates Court or Crown Court, and exercised her right for a full trial by judge and jury.
During a committal hearing, a prosecution lawyer told the court there was a case to answer, which was agreed by District Judge John Meehan.
Gardner spoke only to confirm her name and that she understood the charge. She declined to call witnesses or give evidence on her own behalf. Legal aid was granted and extended to cover barrister fees.
Judge Meehan ordered Gardner to appear for arraignment at Dungannon Crown Court next month.
However, on being advised £200 bail was imposed, which is required to be signed in custody before release, Gardener reacted.
Having been ushered to the custody door by a prison officer, she summoned her solicitor over. It appeared she was refusing to co-operate until her solicitor advised it was standard procedure to sign bail in custody - a practice she branded "totally ridiculous".