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Member of public reported seeing gaming machine and tills in back of car

A MEMBER of the public alerted police when he became suspicious after seeing a car in Gortin with a gaming machine and two tills in the back seat.

On tracking down the silver Vauxhall Vectra in the early hours of February 2, police discovered the gaming machine and a till had been stolen from Tasty Bites takeaway on Main Street, Drumquin and the other till and charity boxes stolen from Salt ‘n Pepper chip shop on Main Street, Dromore.

The burglar was stopped on the Crockenboy Road outside of Gortin and discovered to be driving while over the alcohol limit.

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Benny Francis Martin McCullagh (48) of Main Street, Sixmilecross has been sentenced to a number of three months jail terms which will run concurrently.

He was also disqualified from driving for 15 months and District Judge Bernie Kelly ordered that the car be seized by the authorities.

He admitted two charges of burglary and theft, drink driving and driving without insurance and a vehicle test certificate.

McCullagh’s previous offences which ran to 38 pages were handed to the judge before she passed sentence.

The court was told that when he was stopped by police, the defendant claimed he bought the car in Belfast and believed it was insured.

He initially denied the burglaries.

There was £800 damage caused to the gaming machine, £200 damage to the tills and £100 taken from the tills.

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McCullagh has been in custody since March for similar offences and was due for release on July 22.

Defence solicitor John McCaffrey stated that his client accepted the offences during police interview and said he remembered little about the episode due to substance misuse.

Mr McCaffrey added, “Not withstanding his terrible record there is no previous conviction for drink-driving. He has most other offences but not that one.”

Judge Bernie Kelly checked the pages containing his record for other driving offences in the last 10 years and commented, “It is hard to find 2007 in his record.”

On passing sentence, she said, “This is in the hope of securing the rehabilitation of the offender.”

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