Northern Ireland

Kenny Grissam jailed for stealing oil from Garvagh Primary School

A 39-year old Coleraine man who was part of a gang which stole heating oil from a primary school has been jailed.

Kenny Grissam, from Ballysally Road, admitted stealing the oil from Garvagh Primary School in March 2013.

Grissam had been due to appear at Antrim Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, last Friday along with three co-accused.

After his failure to appear, a judge issued a warrant for his arrest and he handed himself into police on Sunday.

During a previous hearing, the court was told that in the early hours of 12 March, 2013, police received a report of suspicious activity at Garvagh Primary School.

A blue Renault Scenic was seen in the area, and came to the attention of police as it was -4 degrees Celsius outside and all the car's windows were open.

It was stopped and police noticed a strong smell of heating oil.

The four occupants - including Grissam - were arrested and when the car was searched a screwdriver, a pair of pliers and a wrench were found.

When the oil tank at the school was examined by police, they discovered it had been damaged.

Also found at the scene was the tip of a latex glove, which when analysed was found to have Grissam's DNA on it.

A defence barrister described the theft as "amateurish in the extreme" and said his client was a man "dependant on alcohol".

Grissam was jailed for four months.

Of the other three accused, two were jailed, while a third was given a suspended sentence.

Judge Gordon Kerr said: "Whilst the amount involved in this case may not be the highest value, the theft of public property could have the potential to inconvenience children," being taught in the school.