Serial thief pleads guilty ‘at request of pregnant partner’

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A thief who stole thousands of pounds-worth of jewellery and clothing in raids on stores across greater Belfast has been jailed for 10 months.

Alexander Patterson also took hot-tubs and electrical goods during a five-month crime spree.

The 26-year-old, of Cliftonpark Avenue in the north of the city, admitted to a catalogue of high-value shoplifting on Friday at Belfast Magistrate’s Court

He carried out his raids between June and November this year.

Among the items taken were coats, jackets and more than 20 t-shirts valued at more than £3,100 in total during separate raids on an outdoor store in Newtownabbey and TK Maxx on Boucher Road, while £1,000-worth of sportswear was taken from a branch of Sports Direct.

Two inflatable hot-tubs priced at over £300 each were stolen from Homebase on Boucher Road.

Other thefts involved razors, jewellery, and electronic goods.

Many of the stolen items have not been recovered, the court heard.

Patterson launched his theft spree within days of being put on probation for previous offences.

Mr O’Neill argued that he was now pleading guilty at his pregnant partner’s insistence.

“Behind every man there’s a woman, he is indicating that he doesn’t want to lose her and if he does commit any further offences he will.”

District Judge Oonagh Mullan ordered the father-of-two to serve a total of 10 months behind bars, adding: “Your record is appalling. If you want to enjoy time with your family you need to get your act together.”