Man who damaged sign sentenced to four more months in jail

A man who committed a range of offences including causing damage to a sign at the Wine Flair shop at Ballymena’s Cushendall Road has been ordered to serve an extra four month sentence.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 2:05 pm

Zoltan Dobie (49), who was previously jailed in connection with an incident when he stole a ‘cherry picker’ machine and drove it whilst unfit through Ballymena before crashing near the Fairhill shopping centre, had been due to get out of jail on January 15 next year - which his defence barrister Stephen Law said happened to be the defendant’s mum’s birthday.

However, at Ballymena Magistrates Court, District Judge Nigel Broderick, sentenced Dobie, with an address listed as Drumtara in Ballymena, to a further four months term.

Offences included several incidents of being caught with cannabis and causing damage to a door which cost £550 to fix. The Wine Flair sign, meanwhile, cost £150 to replace.

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Dobie was also spotted urinating in a public place - Linenhall Street in Ballymena; was disorderly in the town’s Broughshane Street; had stolen alcohol from Marks & Spencer and was “aggressive” to people outside Cafe Nero.

Mr Law said Dobie has suffered poor mental health; had ADHD and anxiety; and “very foolishly had decided to self medicate with cannabis and alcohol”.

He said the defendant had “no accommodation and no money” and re-directed any cash he had to buy alcohol and cannabis.

The lawyer said the ‘cherry picker’ theft was an an attempt to “self-harm” which “shows the level of desperation he had got to”.

However, Mr Law said Dobie appears to be engaging well with the jail authorities and addiction services in prison and is”now clean”.

Judge Broderick told the defendant he had embarked on an “appalling” spree.

He said: “I’m beginning to lose count about how many times you have committed criminal offences. You seem to embark on a spree of offending regardless of the condequences”.

He said the four months term must be served consecutively to Dobie’s current sentence. Bail of £500 was fixed for appeal.