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Man jailed for 'brazen' theft of 200 dolls from a toy store

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A 42-year-old man who stole over 200 LOL dolls from a toy store at Forestside Shopping Centre has been jailed for the "brazen" theft

A 42-year-old man who stole over 200 LOL dolls from a toy store at Forestside Shopping Centre has been jailed for the "brazen" theft

A 42-year-old man who stole over 200 LOL dolls from a toy store at Forestside Shopping Centre has been jailed for the "brazen" theft

A 42-year-old man who stole over 200 LOL dolls from a toy store at Forestside Shopping Centre has been jailed for the "brazen" theft.

Stephen Casement, from Avoca Street in Belfast, was handed a 16-month sentence after he admitted stealing LOL dolls valued at £2,796.75 from Smyth's Toys.

He appeared at a remote hearing of Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, via a videolink with Maghaberry, where he was informed his sentence will be divided equally between custody and licence.

As the theft occurred when Casement was under suspended sentences, Judge Miller imposed an additional nine months for breaching the court orders.

Branding Casement's actions on the evening of October 3, 2018 as "brazen", Judge Miller said Casement was captured on CCTV entering the toy store three times within five minutes.

On each occasion, he lifted a box of dolls from the store, made no attempt to pay and was seen putting the boxes into the boot of a Volkswagen Passat in the car park.

Three other people were in the vehicle, which left the scene. The dolls were never recovered and the Crown estimate that 225 dolls were stolen, amounting to just under £2,800.

CCTV footage of the theft was circulated between staff members, with an employee recognising Casement from a Facebook page.

Casement was arrested and during his interview with police, he gave a 'no comment' response.

Defence barrister Peter Coiley said Casement has now accepted that if he continues to offend, it will lead to "longer and longer prison sentences" being imposed.

Mr Coiley said this offending was linked to Casement's long-standing addiction to drugs, which the barrister said stemmed from unresolved issues of trauma in his past.

Judge Miller said Casement's record was both "lengthy and relevant", with 48 of his 101 previous convictions for theft. Also noted by the judge was his failure to attend a prior court hearing on the theft charge, which resulted in a warrant being issued.

Judge Miller said he accepted Casement's offending was linked to "feeding his drugs habit or paying off drug debts", but said that unless he addressed these issues, his future will be "bleak".

Belfast Telegraph