Man caused £6,000 of damage at Mount Zion House facility


A 23-year-old man caused damage amounting to over £6,000 to a community facility, Craigavon Magistrates Court has heard.

He was Colum Madden, Markville, Bleary, and he appeared last Friday at the local courthouse.

At a previous court he admitted criminal damage to three IMac computers, an interactive monitor and mouse pad, windows, a till, vertical blonds and a key lock pad.

He also pleaded guilty to entering the building, Mount Zion House in Lurgan’s Edward Street, as a trespasser and stealing three IMac computers.

Sentencing in the case had been deferred from that court to see if Madden could stay out of trouble, hold down a job and pay money towards the damage he caused.

The court heard that on January 20, 2013, a burglary took place at Mount Zion House in Lurgan.

One of the computers was found lying on the ground and the other two were found at the gate. Damage amounting to £6,355.55 had been caused inside the premises.

Blood was recovered from various locations and when forensically examined it was established it belonged to Madden.

When he was interviewed he replied no comment to all questions.

Mount Zion was a charitable organisation which relied heavily on public funding.

A barrister for Madden said that during the period of deferment he had stayed out of trouble, changed jobs and attended to his drugs and alcohol issues.

He had also raised money which was in his solicitor’s account.

The lawyer said the defendant’s mother would say that her son has changed and she felt that she had him back again.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said this was a ‘nasty and mean spirited’ offence against a charitable organisation which provided services to the local community.

But, he added, he had said that if Madden stayed out of trouble and made a contribution to the cost of the damage he would not face immediate custody.

For each charge the judge sentenced him to five months in prison, to run concurrently, and suspended the terms for three years.

He also ordered him to pay £1,500 compensation which was already in his solicitor’s account.