Belfast Telegraph

Man hid in his attic over £7 flower theft, court told

By Alan Erwin

A man accused of stealing a £7 bunch of flowers hid from police in his attic, the High Court heard.

Officers found Matthew Slate after forcing their way into his home in Co Fermanagh, prosecutors said.

The 39-year-old was granted bail after a judge was told he plans to admit two shoplifting raids on the same store.

Slate, originally from England, but with an address at Trasna Way in Lisnaskea, faces two counts each of theft and obstructing police. He is alleged to have stolen three bottles of vodka from a Eurospar on the town's Main Street on July 29.

Philip Henry, prosecuting, claimed that when eventually arrested for that offence six weeks later, he gave police a false name.

Slate was later released from custody but allegedly breached his conditions by going back into the shop on October 16.

"He entered and stole £7 worth of flowers," Mr Henry claimed.

CCTV footage was supplied to PSNI officers who went to detain him 10 days later.

"When they tried to arrest him at his home they had to force entry and he was hiding in the attic," the prosecutor said.

Desmond Fahy, defending, set out his client's history of mental health issues and confirmed Slate intends to enter guilty pleas.

Granting bail, Mr Justice O'Hara banned Slate from entering the Eurospar and imposed a temporary alcohol ban.

Belfast Telegraph


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