Woman had her life savings stolen

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The son of a murdered Belfast man Gerard Devlin was remanded in custody on Friday after admitting stealing a woman’s savings.

Gerard Devlin Junior, 25, of Colinglen Road, Dunmurry, and co-accused Nathan Finn, 22, of Malone Foyer, Malone Road, pleaded guilty to theft.

The court heard the elderly victim had gone to her bank in west Belfast on October 31 2014 and had withdrawn her entire ISA savings of £5,709.49p to pay for work on her home.

She placed the cash in an envelope and wrapped it inside a green Asda shopping bag and then placed it her handbag before heading to the Sainsbury’s store at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast.

Security staff had trained CCTV cameras on two men acting suspiciously in a shop. The camera then picked up Devlin leaning over her shopping trolley, putting his hand in the woman’s handbag to remove the green Asda bag before leaving the shop followed by Finn.

Images of the two suspects were circulated to police in west Belfast, the court heard.

Then on November 19, 2014, both defendants were arrested at a house on the Donegall Road, west Belfast.

“None of her money has ever been found,” a prosecution lawyer said.

A defence solicitor for Devlin told the court that his client was also “deeply remorseful”, adding that the defendant’s father was murdered in 2006. He was stabbed after a street brawl.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC adjourned passing sentence on Devlin and Finn. He told the court: “I want time to consider what are going to be significant periods in custody. I will remand them in custody.”