Northern Ireland

Three plead guilty to brazen Christmas-time theft of baggage from Enterprise train, but spared more prison time for now

The trio stepped on to the train, grabbed bags from the racks, jumped off before the doors closed, then made their getaway on a bus

The Enterprise train
The brazen theft of baggage happened as the Enterprise train was stopped at Newry Station

Three men have pleaded guilty to the brazen Christmas-time theft of luggage from the Enterprise train stopped in Newry station, but were spared further prison time for now.

The trio, all originally from Algeria but living at no fixed abodes in Dundalk, carried out the theft from the train at Newry Station just before Christmas last year.

They made their getaway on a bus, while the train theft was part of a wider spree that included stealing, and the attempted stealing, of clothing from city centre shops, including Sports Direct and TK Maxx.

Newry Train Station

Mohammad Mazyne (23), Mohammed Akram (21) and 30-year-old Attal Adel received suspended sentences after Newry Magistrates Court heard they have spent 14 weeks in prison since their December 21 arrest.

All three pleaded guilty to charges of theft and attempted theft, while Adel was also convicted of going equipped to steal, possession of the drug pregabalin and causing damage to clothing.

Passengers on the 11.20am Enterprise from Dublin watched as the three grabbed bags from the rack and jumped off the train before the doors closed.

The three men followed passengers on to the train at the stop, stood at the head of the carriage, then grabbed the bags from a rack as the whistle blew, according to one eyewitness. Before the doors closed, they jumped off and fled.

After running through the station, they stepped on a bus for the two-mile journey into the city centre.

One of the items stolen was a suitcase belonging to a 16-year-old tourist visiting the north for the first time, the magistrates court heard. It was never recovered and contained £500 worth of clothing.

Colin McKee appeared at Newry magistrates’ court
The trio appeared before Newry Magistrates Court (Michael McHugh/PA)

Handing down a four month sentence suspended for three years, Judge Philip Mateer noted he did not have any criminal record for any of the trio but that he “would be surprised” if none of them had been before a court previously.

“When people get on public transport they leave their baggage on racks hoping it will be safe,” Judge Mateer said.

“In this society we tend to trust one another that other people will not interfere with your possession when you are travelling from A to B.”

Following the theft from the train, the three were seen on CCTV footage attempting to steal clothing from Sports Direct in the city centre, then later spotted on Hill Street.

Police pursued the three and they were caught in nearby Kildare Street. Police recovered a bag stolen from the train and items taken from TK Maxx.

A small quantity of pregabalin was also discovered, which the defendants claimed they purchased in Algeria.

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