Casino owner welcomes jail term for robbers

July 8, 2019

 The owner of a Newry casino has welcomed the successful conviction of two men who robbed him of more than £6,000 after the pair were jailed for the crime.

Valentin Avram (31) and 33-year-old Mihai Silidor Stan, both with an address in Ashington, England, were each handed an 18-month jail term for stealing £6,035 from Max Sports Casino, located at 11 Margaret Square, Newry, on March 23rd this year.

The men were caught on CCTV walking into the casino before making off with the cash.

The casino owner James McKenna has welcomed the convictions and revealed the entire sum is to be returned to him.

Describing the outcome as “a great result”, he said: “Getting all the stolen money back is fantastic, as I never thought I’d see it again.  I think the jail sentence is good because you rarely see people get jailed for this sort of thing and hopefully it will act as a deterrent.

“I want to thank the police but especially the Gardai who were able to pass on names within four hours of the incident, which was key in this case I think.

“Having the CCTV in place made the difference here too,” he added. “Now I’m just glad I can put the whole episode behind me and get on with running my business.”

Both men were sentenced to 18 months in prison, with half to be spent on licence and were ordered to pay back £3,017.50 each.

They were also sentenced to a further six months, to run concurrently, for possession of stolen property.