Serial thief is jailed
A robber gave the thumbs-up to friends after being jailed for two years and a month by Belfast Crown Court.
The court heard that Thomas Carleton (19), from Cullingtree Road in Belfast, already has 21 previous convictions including burglary, robbery and three theft-type offences.
Carleton pleaded guilty to snatching nearly £750 worth of designer jeans from a city centre store on June 19, 2009.
Jailing Carleton, Judge Gemma Loughran said he had played a “vital part in this cowardly incident” by holding open the shop doorway for three accomplices who punched the lone shop assistant to the ground as they made off with the jeans.
Defence lawyer John Paul Shields said Carleton came from a difficult background and reports indicated that he is not a leader but a follower, and that the jeans theft was at the very lowest end of the robbery scale.