Woman ‘stole candles from shop to order’

A woman allegedly raided a department store for Yankee Candles as part of a “steal to order” scheme, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors claimed Kathryn Kelly and a male co-accused were involved in thefts of the scented lights then destined for sale on Facebook.

A judge was also told police who tracked the suspects down to a Londonderry motel discovered cocaine, cannabis and extreme pornographic material featuring animals.

Kelly, of Belvoir Park in the city, was refused bail on a total of nine charges.

The 39-year-old is accused of theft, going equipped for theft with false number plates, handling stolen goods, conspiracy to steal and trading in counterfeit products.

She also faces counts of possessing class A and B drugs, being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, and having an extreme pornographic image.

Crown lawyer Conor Magauire said 16 Yankee candles valued at £200 were stolen from Menarys in Omagh, Co Tyrone on November 29.

A similar alleged theft was said to have been carried out at the store earlier that month.

The court heard police suspected Kelly’s involvement, based on a description of the thieves and their Toyota car.

She was detained with her co-accused after they left a room at the Banks of the Faughan Motel and got into that vehicle, according to Mr Maguire.

Deal bags containing small amounts of suspected cocaine and cannabis were seized from the car, along with a piece of card shaped as a snorting device, the prosecution alleged.

Mr Maguire also claimed a phone recovered by police contained messages relating to the supply of drugs and extreme pornographic material.

He described images portraying adult men and women, along with dogs, horses and monkeys, were contained in 49 tabs or windows on the phone which had not been properly shut down.

“Police say both the applicant and her co-accused appear to use the one device that was seized from the vehicle,” counsel said.

He added: “There were also a number of requests which police say are ‘steal to order’ requests in relation to Yankee Candles.

“Police say this is part of the modus operandi of the applicant and co-accused.

“These items are then placed on a Facebook site for sale.”

The court was told two number plates were found during searches of the motel room – one of them being the proper registration for the Toyota.

Defence barrister Ben Thompson confirmed Kelly and her co-accused dispute having anything to do with the material contained on the phone.

“Both deny possessing the extremely unpleasant images on this device,” he said.

Mr Thompson set out how Kelly was seeking release from custody in time for Christmas.

But denying bail due to the risk of potential reoffending, Mr Justice McCloskey described her application as “entirely unmeritorious”.