Northern Ireland

Nicorette thieves who stole more than £40K in products from pharmacy warehouse spared jail

Judge suspends sentence telling pair he’ll give them “one chance before the gates of the prison close upon you”

The Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast
(Liam McBurney/PA)

Two men who stole more than £40,000 worth of goods from a Belfast-based company which were then sold on eBay, have avoided jail.

Peter Boreland and Thomas Lyczakowski appeared at Belfast Crown Court on Tuesday where they each received an 18-month sentence which was suspended for two years by Judge Gordon Kerr KC.

Boreland (35) from Mayflower Street in the city and 41-year old Lyczakowski of Breda Road in Belfast admitted stealing around £40,000 worth of Nicorette Quickmist Duo goods over a period between May 1, 2021 and February 1, 2023.

The products are used to help relieve or prevent cravings and withdrawal symptoms experienced for those wishing to stop smoking.

The items were stolen from MediCare Pharmacy which operates from the Montgomery Road in Belfast.

At the time of the theft, Boreland was employed as a team leader in the company’s warehouse whilst Lyczakowski was a former employee.

The court heard that in November 2022 the director of operations became suspicious about stock discrepancies concerning Nicorette Quickmist Duo goods.

The goods arrive at the company’s warehouse in cardboard boxes containing 36 units per box and cost the company £17.49 per unit.

After suspicions were raised, the next batch of stock was checked in December 2022 when it was discovered that 360 units of Nicorette Quickmist Duo were unaccounted for.

CCTV cameras were then installed in January 2023 which captured Boreland removing six boxes from the warehouse via the parcel shutter doors.

The boxes were given to Lyczakowski, who was behind the wheel of a white van which was then driven from the warehouse.

Further enquiries were made which led to a business based in a property on Breda Road whose goods were being traded on eBay.

The property in question was Lyczakowski’s home address and the white van used to transport the stolen goods from MediCare Pharmacy’s warehouse was also present.

During a search of the property, six boxes of Nicorette Quickmist Duo were located and seized by police.

Both men were arrested, and during his interview Boreland was shown CCTV footage from his workplace and admitted stealing the goods from his employers.

When he was interviewed by Lyczakowski also admitted his involvement.

The pair confessed to theft spanning over a two-year period.

Judge Kerr said he had read and considered defence submissions submitted on behalf of both men.

Boreland, he said, has experienced addictions to both drugs and gambling which contributed to his offending.

The Judge also revealed Lyczakowski attributed his offending to financial pressures as he was sending money back to family members in Poland.

Judge Kerr branded the offending as “theft of a significant number of goods” which was “well organised” and conducted over a significant period of time, and that these stolen goods were then sold online.

Noting a lack of previous offending, Judge Kerr told the pair he was giving them “one chance before the gates of the prison close upon you” and imposed the suspended sentence.