Belfast Telegraph

Man with 225 convictions pleads guilty to stealing socks and tin foil

By Nevin Farrell

A County Antrim man with 225 convictions, who had originally denied shoplifting, has pleaded guilty to the offence.

Seamus Patrick Laverty (55), of Stroanshesk Park, Ballycastle, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday to change his plea and he is due to be sentenced in September.

Last month the same court heard Laverty had pleaded not guilty to the theft of a pair of socks and a roll of tin foil with a total value of £10 from Marks & Spencer in Ballymena's Fairhill Centre on May 24 this year.

In July defence barrister Ben Thompson said his instructions at that stage were that Laverty accepted he put the items into a 'Bag For Life' which he was using as a "shopping basket," but was denying the theft of the items saying he had to quickly leave the store as he was "taking a heart attack".

No further details were given to the July court and adjourning the case last month, District Judge Peter King said he would like medical evidence to be brought forward.

Back at Ballymena Court on Thursday, Laverty was re-arraigned on the theft charge and pleaded guilty.

This time his defence barrister was Neil Moore who said his client was in breach of a suspended sentence and had a "very significant" record.

He said his client suffers from "chronic" addiction problems.

There was no further reference to the alleged 'heart attack'.

Judge King told Thursday's court the conviction now brought Laverty's criminal record up to 225 and he adjourned sentencing until next month.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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