Jailed for shoplifting spree in several Ballymena stores

A former Irish League football star has been jailed for six months for a shoplifting spree.

Jamie Davidson (24), of Carnduff Drive, Ballymena, used to play for Ballymena United and once attracted the attention of scouts from top Premier League sides Liverpool and Spurs before being injured.

The court heard that earlier this week Davidson was given a two-year sentence at Antrim Crown Court - half of which was to be served in custody. That was for a shop robbery and thefts from other shops.

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Davidson appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday via video link from prison for sentencing on other charges - shoplifting.

Davidson was being sentenced for stealing two T-shirts worth £18 from Blue Inc in the Tower Centre, Ballynena, and on another date he had stolen Nike footwear worth £140 from Sports Direct, Ballymena; perfume worth £178 from Boots and make-up worth £84 from Boots.

A prosecutor said although the T-shirts were recovered it was not believed the other stolen items had been retrieved.

The prosecuting lawyer said Davidson had “cut off” an electronic monitoring tag in March this year and he admitted criminal damage.

Defence lawyer Michael Smyth said his client is due to be released from jail in either November of December.

District Judge Nigel Broderick sentenced Davidson to six months in prison on the new matters.