A thief who stole a mobile phone from a workman renovating a barber shop has been jailed for eight months.
Lee Whelan took the device valued at £500 after entering the north Belfast business as a customer in March this year.
The 22-year-old, of Weavershill Court in the Ligoniel area in the city’s north, also targeted off licences and a convenience store in separate thieving offences.
In a further incident he fled without paying a £5 taxi fare in April.
Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he admitted charges of theft, burglary, making off without paying, obstructing police and possession of an offensive weapon.
Prosecutor Stephanie Boyd set out how he stole two bottles of wine from a Spar in September this year.
That incident followed a previous series of shoplifting incidents all committed on May 18.
The court heard he stole two bottles of vodka from a Tesco store on the Antrim Road. Later that day he entered a Wineflair and took more alcohol.
He also stole £12.30 worth snacks from a Spar.
Mrs Boyd said when detained by police a metal bar was found up his sleeve.
Defence solicitor Ciaran Toner said drug taking was behind all his client’s actions.
“He was incoherent when arrested,” the lawyer submitted. Mr Toner said Whelan sustained a brain injury when he fell off a motorbike as a teenager.
“From that moment his life took an exceptional course,” he added.
Imposing eight months imprisonment for the phone theft on Friday, with lesser terms to run concurrently for the other offences, she said: “I don’t see any point in (ordering) compensation.”