Belfast Telegraph

Heroin addict who allegedly stole hundreds of pounds of goods while on 'autopilot' banned from Belfast city centre and all shops

By Alan Erwin

A heroin addict who allegedly stole hundreds of pounds worth of designer boxer shorts and razors while on "autopilot" is to be banned from all retail stores, a High Court judge ordered on Wednesday.

Belfast woman Rosaleen Bradley was also excluded from the city centre in its entirety as part of "draconian" bail conditions.

The 34-year-old, who was previously barred from entering the Castlecourt shopping centre, is accused of raiding three different traders within the past six weeks.

It was claimed that she went into B&M Bargains at Rosemary Street on October 6, lifted several packets of Calvin Klein boxer shorts valued at £276 and left without paying.

Crown counsel said Bradley, of Antrim Road in Belfast, later told police she had taken strong medication and has no memory of being in the shop.

However, the court heard she did identify herself on CCTV footage.

She was then detained again for two further alleged shoplifting incidents at Castlecourt on November 11 - despite still being subject to the barring order which prohibits entry to the complex.

According to the prosecution she stole six packets of Gillette razors worth £120 from a Semichem branch, and headphones valued at £119.99 from the O2 shop.

Bradley faces charges of theft and two counts of burglary over the incidents.

Mrs Justice Keegan was told she had made admissions to stealing the goods in Castlecourt.

Setting out his client's history of addiction, defence barrister John O'Connor said: "The difficulty was heroin abuse so severe that it has gripped her for life."

Despite being on a treatment programme, she suffered a relapse and began taking "excessive" amounts of sleeping pills around the time of the alleged offences, according to counsel.

Mr O'Connor added: "That's why she has no memory of the two incidents.

"She went into autopilot, that's her default mode in relation to shoplifting."

He argued that Bradley was prepared to abide by a ban on entering any stores, relying instead on relatives or online shopping.

The judge responded: "She is becoming a nuisance to retailers."

But granting bail, Mrs Justice Keegan confirmed the conditions described as draconian.

"She will be excluded from the entire city centre of Belfast, (and) she will not enter any retail stores," the judge confirmed.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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