Court hears County Antrim courier sold dozens of parcels he had stolen and then used cash to buy drugs

Court hears County Antrim courier sold dozens of parcels he had stolen and then used cash to buy drugs

A SELF-employed courier from Larne stole dozens of parcels from delivery firm Hermes before selling the items and using the money for drugs.

William Laverty (28), with addresses listed on different charge sheets as Cymric Drive and Fairway, admitted the theft of parcels from Hermes between November 2017 and the end of March, 2018.

Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena (main picture), heard police discovered the defendant had Hermes packaging.

When 47 barcodes were checked on a hand-held terminal belonging to the defendant, Laverty claimed he had not received 14 parcels; he claimed he had attempted to deliver 8 and there were 25 parcels he claimed he delivered to customers.

A prosecutor said four customers had contacted Hermes head office to dispute delivery of their items and a further ten customer disputes were then raised.

She said she believed 47 parcels had gone missing costing £328.

In July 2019 the defendant was in a warehouse at Home Bargains in Newtownards doing a delivery and he was caught on CCTV stealing four tins of Carling beer worth £4.15.

At 2.20am on March 28, 2018, police checked a vehicle parked in a drive way in Larne and found Laverty in the driver seat with suspected cannabis on his lap.

More cannabis, cocaine and Diazepam were found in the vehicle and more cannabis was found in a property.

He told police he was only at the driveway saying he didn't want to smoke cannabis at his parents' home "in case his mum found out".

Analysis of Laverty's mobile phone showed he had offered to supply drugs.

In May, 2019, after a three vehicle collision in Larne, Laverty alighted from a vehicle and made off on foot but a description was given to police and when he was caught nearby officers smelt alcohol from him and he was "hostile and aggressive".

A drugs grinder was found in his pocket and he refused to provide a breath sample.

Defence barrister Neil Moore said there was "traffic" on the phone between Laverty and "friends and associates as regards the supply of drugs".

Mr Moore said at the time of the offences the defendant had been "misusing drugs and alcohol".

Rather than deliver some parcels, Laverty was opening them, selling the contents and "used the money for drugs".

He said the defendant is now a "totally different individual", is working as a pizza chef and wants to join the army.

Mr Moore said: "He was drifting from rental properties, taking drugs, misusing, and thankfully, all of that is behind him. He doesn't touch alcohol, he doesn't touch drugs. He has significantly changed his lifestyle".

Laverty was ordered to do 150 hours of Community Service and pay back £328 to Hermes and £4 to Home Bargains for the stolen beer.

He was also banned from driving for a year.