‘Hopeless drunk’ jailed for robbing fellow street drinker

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A “hopeless drunk” who robbed a fellow street drinker of money, a phone and his passport in the centre of Belfast has been handed an 18-month sentence.

Roy Thompson, from Divis Street in the west of the city, will serve six months of his sentence in prison, with the remaining 12 months on licence when he is released from custody, after he admitted a single charge of robbery.

Belfast Crown Court heard that 49-year-old Thompson was one of three men who robbed a foreign national at around 8.30am on January 10 last year.

The victim – who along with Thompson was described in court as a street drinker – had just withdrawn money from an ATM when he was led down an alleyway off Royal Avenue.

Once down the alleyway, Thompson and two other men pushed their victim to the ground before going through his pockets and stealing £150 as well as a mobile phone and passport – the latter of which was recovered.

A prosecutor said the incident was captured on CCTV, adding “it was not difficult to push the man to the ground because of the amount of drink he had taken”.

When Thompson was later shown the CCTV footage by police, he agreed it was him but played down what happened.

Passing sentence, Judge Kerr said that all of those involved in the incident had “difficulties” linked to their “alcohol problems”, and that Thompson was a “hopeless drunk” who had “little control over his drinking and little control over his behaviour because of his drinking”.

Judge Kerr also expressed the hope that part of his probation on licence will include offering assistance for this addiction to alcohol.