Man jailed for stealing alcohol in Derry

Man jailed for stealing alcohol in Derry

A Belfast man who stole two bottles of whiskey from a Londonderry off-licence following a three-day drinking binge has been jailed for four years.

Darren Victor Beattie, 29, from Euston Parade in the Ballymacarrett area of Belfast, admitted stealing the spirits from an off-licence attached to the Carraig Bar in the Strand Road area of the city on 30 October last year.The city's Crown Court was told that Beattie was recorded on CCTV grabbing a staff member inside the off-licence by the throat and forcing his face onto the counter before stealing the two bottles.The worker was able to recover one of the whiskey bottles before Beattie left the premises.The staff member's work colleague recovered the second bottle from Beattie as he attempted to walk away after the robbery.Judge Philip Babington was told that Beattie was later found lying drink in a corridor in the nearby Rock Mills flats complex.A prosecution barrister said Beattie came to Derry three days before the robbery and over the three-day period he consumed eight litre bottles of vodka.Jailing Beattie for four years, Judge Babington told him he would serve two years without remission and two years on licence following his prison release.Judge Babington said Beattie's previous criminal record of 69 convictions, 29 of them for theft offences, was an aggravating feature in the case.He told Beattie: "If you had been convicted following a contested hearing by a jury, the sentence I would have imposed would have been one of six years."


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