A man who stole a CCTV camera from a petrol station two days before he robbed it was yesterday jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Ordering 24-year-old Mark Lyttle to spend half his sentence in jail and half on licence, Belfast Crown Court Judge Gordon Kerr QC said it was clear “that this was a pre-planned escapade with a significant degree of cunning and planning”.
Prosecuting lawyer Gary McCrudden had told him that a CCTV camera from the Spar garage on the Knock Road had been stolen on January 27 last year and that two days later, two men robbed the shop.
One of the men, the court heard, jumped over the counter and demanded that staff hand over cigarettes and cash.
The red Rover car they used to get away had been parked in the spot which would have been covered by the stolen CCTV camera, said Mr McCrudden.
He added, however, that Lyttle was arrested three days later when the Rover car was involved in a crash on the Glen Road and crime scene investigators matched his shoes to a print he left on the shop counter.
During police interviews Lyttle, from Green Mount in Belfast, denied involvement.
However, he later pleaded guilty to offences of theft, criminal damage and robbery.