Man forced way into warehouse at Tesco in Ballymena and after hiding it took staff several minutes to locate him

Man forced way into warehouse at Tesco in Ballymena and after hiding it took staff several minutes to locate him

A MAN forced his way into a 'staff-only' warehouse which housed "high value goods" at the main Tesco in Ballymena and after he hid it took several minutes for him to be found.

When discovered, Christopher Mouland (32), of Devenagh Court, Ballymena, tried to grab back a bag which had been taken from him on June 26 this year.

Staff viewing CCTV had earlier saw the defendant lift a bottle of spirits and put it in a 'bag for life' before walking towards the "staff-only, high-value warehouse and forced entry into the store, having a look around".

He put razors in a bag and when a CCTV operator made security aware, they entered the warehouse.

After "several minutes," they  found Mouland hiding.

When taken to the shopfloor by security staff the bag was taken from him but several minutes later attempted to "snatch the bag back".

When interviewed the defendant told police he accepted he was in the store "but didn't know where he was" and that he already had items in his bag.

Arising out of the incident he was charged with intent to steal; disorderly behavour; resisting a police officer and attempting to damage a police vehicle.

Also on June 26 this year police driving past Mouland at 10.40pm at Broughshane Road, Ballymena, saw the defendant attempt to discard something.

Police then found a needle containing heroin close to a school.

On June 2 this year police attended a "noise complaint" at 11.55pm and after they spotted Mouland being "nervous and erratic" they found he had cocaine, Lyrica and Zopliclone.

The defendant appeared at court via video link from prison where he is due for release in December in relation to a previous sentence.

Defence barrister Andrew Moriarty said the defendant had a record but had a "sterile period" of offending for five years up to 2017.

The lawyer said the defendant's drug addiction has been so pronounced "he is probably quite lucky to be here".

For the latest offences, District Judge Nigel Broderick told Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, he would place the defendant on Probation for a year with a condition that he gets drug treatment when released from prison.