Polish pair avoid prison after theft of sunglasses
Two Polish men who used a specially converted jacket to steal designer sunglasses have been warned any repeat will see them jailed for more than a year.
Maciej Pasternak (22) and Dawid Mikolowski (23) each received six-month suspended prison terms for Sunday's raid on Belfast's Victoria Square shopping centre.
The pair, who travelled up from Co Monaghan, took three sets of sunglasses valued at £90 from a Superdry store and tried to leave without paying. Police arrested them and recovered a magnet used in the shoplifting plot.
Belfast Magistrates Court heard the lining of Pasternak's jacket had also been adapted to create an inner pocket.
The two accused, both of The Diamond in Clones, pleaded guilty to charges of theft and going equipped for theft.
Defence solicitor Pearse MacDermott emphasised both men's previously clear records since moving to live in the Republic two years ago.
"It was a slightly more advanced technique than one would expect in shoplifting," he added.
Imposing six-month prison sentences, District Judge Mark Hamill suspended the terms for three years.
But the judge warned the pair: "If you come back for this again I would give you eight months, and with the six months it would be 14 months in custody."
He also ordered destruction of the jacket and magnet.