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Pickpocket who stole wallet from man later found dead in Derry is jailed for 18 months

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A Romanian pickpocket recorded stealing a wallet from a man whose body was found hours later in Londonderry has been jailed for 18 months (stock photo)

A Romanian pickpocket recorded stealing a wallet from a man whose body was found hours later in Londonderry has been jailed for 18 months (stock photo)

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A Romanian pickpocket recorded stealing a wallet from a man whose body was found hours later in Londonderry has been jailed for 18 months (stock photo)

A Romanian pickpocket recorded stealing a wallet from a man whose body was found hours later in Londonderry has been jailed for 18 months.

The victim, Conall Kerrigan (25), from Claudy, was out celebrating with friends in the city centre after he'd returned home from England.

Judge Elizabeth McCaffrey told Adrian Vasile Aitoneanu, from Rotherham in England, that he had deliberately targeted Mr Kerrigan in the early hours of August 23, 2015, and robbed his vulnerable victim of his wallet.

Aitoneanu, who had a previous conviction in Romania for violence causing death, admitted stealing Mr Kerrigan's wallet and a £600 iPhone from a woman earlier on the same night in Sandino's Bar in Foyle Street.

Aitoneanu and another man were recorded on CCTV approaching Mr Kerrigan as he sat on the City Walls behind the Millennium Forum. Aitoneanu hugged and embraced Mr Kerrigan as his colleague stole the wallet.

"Very sadly Mr Kerrigan's body was found in the city centre later the next evening after a number of his friends and relations became concerned about him, as he had been missing since the previous evening," the judge said, but added that this was not linked to the robbery.

But what was "clear is that you and your colleague deliberately and callously approached him, targeted him and robbed him that evening," added the judge.

Belfast Telegraph