Belfast Telegraph

Heroin addict 'no memory' of £700 car theft, court told

Belfast Magistrates’ Court (Niall Carson/PA)
Belfast Magistrates’ Court (Niall Carson/PA)

By Alan Erwin

A man who broke into a car and stole nearly £700 worth of electrical items has no memory of the theft, a court has heard.

Anthony Begley was given a six-month suspended jail term for carrying out the raid at a car park in Belfast.

A judge was told the 28-year-old's life has been blighted by a serious heroin addiction and periods spent living on the streets.

Begley, whose address was given as Centenary House on Victoria Street in the city, was convicted of theft from a vehicle and criminal damage.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard a window on the car was smashed while it was parked in Tomb Street on July 26.

Prosecutors said electrical items valued at £690 were taken, while the cost of repairs was a further £130.

Begley was arrested after being identified from fingerprints found on the vehicle.

He accepted it was him on CCTV footage causing the damage.

A prosecution lawyer said: "He said he had no recollection about this."

Begley was also dealt with for two counts of being a sex offender who failed to notify police of a change to his home address.

No details were disclosed about the previous offence which led to him being subject to the requirements.

He said he had been living in a night shelter and on the streets without being aware of the notification obligations.

A defence lawyer said: "Anthony's life has been blighted by drugs since his teenage years. He had a serious heroin addiction which at various points he sought help for."

Imposing a total of six months imprisonment, District Judge Oonagh Mullan confirmed the term will be suspended for two years.

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