Romanian gang ‘banned from Coleraine’

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An alleged shoplifting gang is accused of a pre-Christmas raid in Coleraine and have been banned from entering the town as part of bail conditions.

Four Romanian nationals - including a man and wife and two other women - are charged with stealing shoes, coats and jeans from four stores on December 12 last year.

Appearing at Coleraine Magistrates Court, all charged with theft, were Cosmin Micula (26), Alina Cirpacill (26), Anca Cirpaciu (19) and Teresa Nicula (35).

Teresa Nicula is also charged with handling stolen goods and going equipped for theft by having six strips of material for use in connection with theft.

The address for all four was given as Barrack Street, Coalisland, County Tyrone.

A police officer believed she could connect all the accused to the charges.

They were each released on their own bail of £400 and are banned from entering Coleraine.

Legal aid for all four, two of whom work for Moy Park, was granted after an application by a defence solicitor and the case was adjourned to February 1.

* An excess alcohol motorist, who slumped over the steering wheel and fell asleep after the PSNI took his keys, moments earlier forced a police car to mount a kerb to avoid a collision.

Richard Steven Egan (29), a mechanic of Sea Road, Castlerock, committed the offence in the early hours of December 12 last year at Millburn Road in nearby Coleraine.

He has been banned from the road for 16 months and fined £400 for driving, described by a judge as “diabolical”.

A prosecutor said police later saw Egan drive on the wrong side of the road and after they used flashing lights and siren to stop him he admitted he had been drinking and then slumped over the steering wheel and fell asleep after police took his keys.

A defence solicitor said although the drink reading was not very high Egan had been working very long shifts and was very tired.

He said Egan had a few cans of beer when a friend called and the defendant offered to give him a lift to Portrush.

The solicitor said his client is a mechanic and the chances are that his employment will go because of the inevitable road ban.

At Coleraine Magistrates Court, Egan pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in his breath on roads including Millburn Road and Atlantic Road, Coleraine.

District Judge Mark Hamill said although the alcohol/breath reading wasn’t that big the facts of the case were “diabolical”.