‘See you later Fiona’, thief calls to judge after he is jailed again

Court
Court

A serial thief with nearly 300 previous convictions has been jailed again for stealing steak and sausages.

Michael McNally, 30, was handed a four-month sentence at Belfast Magistrates’ Court after admitting a new crime spree against retailers in the city.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told the past six weeks spent out of custody represents a new record for McNally.

As he was being taken down to the cells once again he called out to the judge: “That’s okay, see you later Fiona.”

McNally, with an address at Victoria Street in Belfast, appeared in court on four counts of theft and a further charge of handling stolen goods.

He stole ten packets of sausages valued at £11.80 and steaks worth £15.95 from a Maxol garage at Fortwilliam on consecutive days in June.

He also took washing tablets priced at £4 from an Iceland store on the Antrim Road, and five packets of headache tablets valued at £7.45 from Centra on Great Victoria Street.

Appearing before Belfast Magistrates’ Court for the first time on those charges, McNally immediately entered a guilty plea.

Defence solicitor Pearse MacDermott argued they had been minor thefts, with the meat products stolen to eat.

It was revealed in court that McNally has amassed 289 previous convictions - including 150 for theft.

Explaining how his client was last released from prison in June, Mr MacDermott told the court: “He managed to keep from going back into custody for six weeks, which he says is a record for him.”

He added that McNally suffers from Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) along with damage to the nerve endings in his brain due to sniffing glue when he was younger.

But with a previously suspended sentence for a separate theft hanging over the defendant, it was accepted that the outcome was inevitable.

“This is a sad set or circumstances in any level,” Judge Bagnall said.

She ordered McNally to serve two months in prison for the latest thefts, plus a further two months to cover the suspended term.