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Just freed prisoner's three-day crime wave

A man who went on a three-day crime spree just days after being released from prison has been jailed for a total of three years.

A remorseful Gary Clarkin (21), of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft, one of robbery, and possessing a knife in a public place. The Belfast man committed the offences between November 8 and 10 in 2010.

A 44-year-old man, Gregory John Goodwin, also of no fixed abode and said to be living a transient lifestyle, who admitted helping him in the robbery of a Co-op, was jailed with him for 18 months.

Belfast Crown Court judge, Judge Kinney, said there were a number of aggravating factors. They included the use of a weapon, the fact that each raid displayed a degree of planning and premeditation, and that the motivation was purely financial.

Earlier, prosecutor Ian Tannahill said the first of the raids, on November 8, 2010, was at an Xtra-Vision shop on the Ormeau Road, followed the next day by the robbery of the Co-Op, involving both men, and finally a theft from a city centre Spar shop.

Defence lawyer Barry Gibson said Clarkin became involved in a renewed hedonistic lifestyle of drink and drug-taking, but had shown a degree of remorse.

Lawyer Mark McGarrity, for Goodwin, said he had significant health problems and at the time had also shown a degree of remorse.

Belfast Telegraph