Court hears Ballymena woman tried to hide 'a chicken' in her wheelchair

Court hears Ballymena woman tried to hide 'a chicken' in her wheelchair

A SHOPLIFTER who hid 'a chicken' and meat joints in her wheelchair has been warned she will be jailed if she doesn't stop offending.

Leanne McFall (44), of Lanntara in Ballymena, was sentenced at the town's Magistrates' Court after admitting stealing meat worth £25 from an 'Iceland' store on October 9 last year.

A prosecutor said McFall entered 'Iceland' in Ballymena and attempted to steal "a chicken" worth £5.50 and two joints of meat worth £10 each "by concealing them in her wheelchair".

Staff spoke to her when she attempted to leave without paying and the food was fit for re-sale.

The prosecutor said the defendant apologised and had said she "wouldn't do it again".

Defence solicitor Emma McCann said Probation said the defendant is making "good progress" and that work appeared to be "paying off".

District Judge Nigel Broderick said the defendant had 20 previous convictions including two for burglary; four for deception and four for theft.

"So you are clearly a dishonest person," he said, and added: "Unless you mend your ways and stop stealing you are going to go to prison".

He handed down a three months prison term, suspended for a year.