Men fined £1,000 over ‘drunken escapade gone wrong’

David Jerome (left) and Keith Shaw leaving Lisburn Magistrates Court.
David Jerome (left) and Keith Shaw leaving Lisburn Magistrates Court.

Two Lisburn men who sneaked into an upstairs bar when it was closed and helped themselves to £150 worth of booze and peanuts have been handed fines totalling £1,000.

On Monday the city’s Magistrates Court heard how David Jerome (32) and 38-year-old Keith Shaw were drinking in the downstairs bar of the Cardan Grill, just across the street from the courthouse, on April 14 this year when staff noticed they were no longer there.

“Presuming they had left or gone home,” a prosecuting lawyer said bar staff continued on with their duties but when they were cleaning up at around 1am, they heard “noises coming from the stairs” and when they went to investigate, found the drunken pair trying to leave through a fire exit.

Jerome had a half empty bottle of Bacardi in his hand, said the lawyer, adding that when they went upstairs, staff found empty wine bottles and beer glasses “all over the counter area.”

They checked the CCTV footage and uncovered the fact that Jerome and Shaw had helped themselves to “several pints of beer, half a bottle of aftershock, two bottles of wine, a bottle of Bacardi and coke” as well as peanuts.

Police were called and they found the pair a short distance away, still on Bachelors Walk, “extremely intoxicated.” The stolen Bacardi bottle was found smashed on the pavement, said the lawyer.

Arrested and interviewed when they had sobered up, the men claimed they felt bar staff were partly to blame as they didn’t lock the doors to stop them getting into the closed bar, but both admitted to helping themselves to the booze and peanuts.

They had been charged with burglary, but instead pleaded guilty to a charge of theft relating to the alcohol and peanuts.

The defence lawyer for Jerome, from Milltown Avenue, conceded the incident was “disgraceful behaviour” while Patrick Taylor, appearing for Shaw, from Maze Park, described the incident as a “drunken escapade gone wrong.”

“It was idiotic as opposed to malevolent I would suggest,” said Mr Taylor, adding that similar to Jerome, Shaw had brought £75 restitution for the bar.

Fining Shaw £550 and Jerome £450, District Judge Prytherch said the pair were guilty of “absolutely ridiculous behaviour.”

“And then to suggest that it’s someone else’s fault - really, are you serious?,” the judge asked rhetorically. “I just think that’s pathetic frankly.”

As well as the fines, District Judge Prytherch also made a compensation order of £150 in favour of the Cardan Bar and Grill.