DNA leads to conviction of thief who stole cosmetics from Boots
A shoplifter used a foil-lined bag to steal over £360 worth of cosmetics from Boots but was caught when he dropped a bag containing socks and training shoes bearing his DNA.
Pearce McCullough was sentenced to five months in prison when he appeared at Fermanagh Court, but was released on £500 bail pending the outcome of an appeal against the jail term.
He admitted having the foil-lined bag in connection with a theft and stealing cosmetics worth £361.74.
A prosecutor told the court that on Friday, September 9, last year, police were called to the Boots store at Townhall Street in Enniskillen in relation to a theft. The store detective told them he had seen two men lifting items and putting them into a foil-lined bag and then leaving without paying for them. The men ran off, dropping the bag with the stolen cosmetics and another containing a pair of socks and training shoes with McCullough's DNA. In addition, CCTV showed him carrying both bags inside the store and both him and his accomplice dropping them outside on the street.
The court heard that when police later interviewed McCullough he denied the offence or even being in Enniskillen. He claimed he had never been in the Boots store in the town.
Defence barrister, Mr. Ben Wall, said McCullough stole to pay for his gambling problem. He had been reconciled with his partner and sons but then lost money gambling and that would have scuppered the relationship so he went out to try and make some money.
District Judge Liam McNally pointed out that McCullough, from St. Mary's Gardens, Belfast, had been given 18 months probation for exactly the same type of offence just three months prior to this offence.
"That shows his complete disregard for any order the court makes," said the District Judge.
He said the court had dealt "far too leniently" with McCullough in the past and "he keeps stealing other people's property".
He told McCullough "you brought equipment with you" in a "deliberate, pre-meditated attempt to steal a substantial amount of property from another person".