Bible stolen from car outside church court hears

A man who stole items including a Bible from a parked car outside the Living Rivers Church in Ballymena has been ordered to do 120 hours of Community Service.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 8:55 am

Adam Cooper (19), of Rosses Farm in Ballymena, used a debit card from a stolen handbag to make an £18 contactless payment at a shop in the Harryville area of the town.

The defendant appeared via video link from his solicitor’s office at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday for sentencing on charges of theft and fraudulently using the debit card in relation to February 26 last year.

He had previously admitted the offences.

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A prosecutor said the handbag contained a Bible, purse and a debit card along with a driving licence.

A short time later the woman noticed a transaction had taken place at a shop in Queen Street in Ballymena.

CCTV at the shop identified Cooper and when spoken to by police he made full admissions.

The handbag was worth £60 and the purse was valued at £80.

A defence solicitor said Cooper “deeply regrets” what had been a “spur of the moment opportunist crime”.

He added: “His mother is most disappointed at the actions of her son”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said the defendant’s record included interfering with a vehicle.

He ordered Cooper to do 120 hours of Community Service and ordered him to pay £158 compensation.

The judge said Cooper would probably go to prison “the next time you feel the urge to break into someone’s car”.