Man stole £1,000 worth of alcohol including champagne in 'brazen' theft in run up to Christmas

Man stole £1,000 worth of alcohol including champagne in 'brazen' theft in run up to Christmas

A BELFAST man has admitted stealing alcohol including bottles of whiskey, champagne and cognac worth £1,053 from Tesco in Crumlin in the run up to Christmas in a "brazen" theft.

Ciaran Francis Daly (33), of Selby Walk, committed the offence on December 20 last year.

The previous day he had taken a bottle of whiskey worth £36 from the same shop.

At Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, a prosecutor said the defendant made off through a fire escape on December 20 after spotting a security guard at the main entrance.

When the alarm went off security saw Daly getting into a vehicle "with a taxi sign on the roof".

The registration was reported to police and vehicle was stopped in Belfast with the defendant at the wheel.

The drink was not recovered.

When CCTV was looked at it showed the defendant leaving the store the previous day with a bottle of whiskey concealed.

A defence lawyer said when a relationship had ended, the defendant "turned to cocaine and had racked up a large amount of debts" .

The lawyer said the defendant is a "part-time restaurant worker".

District Judge Nigel Broderick said it had been a "very serious, quite brazen" theft.

He deferred sentencing until October to allow the defendant to pay for the items stolen and he must not re-offend.

The judge said Daly had put his "liberty very much in jeopardy".