A Belfast man has been sentenced to six months in prison for stealing £4000 worth of jewellery from an airport security tray.
Keith Howard (47), had claimed that when he saw the jewellery in the tray, he was going to report it to lost property AFTER his week long holiday in Benidorm.
Howard from Banbury Street, Belfast lifted the box of jewellery out of the tray and told his wife to put it in her handbag on August 22 of this year.
He was convicted of theft after a contest at Antrim Magistrates Court last month, the defendant was returned for sentencing on Tuesday.
A defending solicitor told the court that the defendant has a number of health problems including fibromyalgia.
Defence suggested that the defendant would not be suitable for community service due to his aliments.
However District Judge Alan White said he was not even considering community service due to the defendant’s attitude and sentenced him to six months in prison.
Judge White told the court that Howard’s account was the most ‘preposterous story he had heard in years.’
After reading the pre-sentence report that judge noted that despite being found guilty the defendant still denied committing the offence.
“He stole £4,000 worth of jewellery, he lied to me under oath and he continues to deny it. This is the most preposterous story I have heard in this court in a long time. Instead of handing it to a security officer, he was going to take it away on holiday. He must have thought I floated up the river in a bubble.”
Defence added that the defendant suffers from “a series of health problems that are pretty grim.”
Judge White sentenced Howard to six months in prison, however the defendant was granted bail pending appeal.