Prison sentence for house tresspasser

A 43-year-old man who broke a window and cut his hand when he broke into a house in Waringstown was given a prison sentence last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Andrew Roland Clarke, Fort Street, Banbridge, admitted entering as a trespasser on July 23 this year a house at Clare Road, Waringstown, with intent to steal therein. He was sentenced for four months in prison.

The court heard that police received a complaint from a female who had received a message on her mobile phone that there was activity in her house.

When she got home she found the front window had been broken and there was blood around the frame.

Blood stained tissues were found inside the house but nothing seemed to have been taken.

Police found the defendant who matched the description they had been given and had a cut to his hand.

When interviewed he admitted he had entered the house.

A defence barrister said Clarke’s last offence was in 2013 and his last offence for dishonesty was in 1999.

He added that one common denominator in his offending was the consumption of alcohol and he had been hospitalised ten times since he was a teenager.

The lawyer explained that there was damage to the window but nothing had been taken.

He added that Clarke had been house-sitting for his sister, looking after the place while she was on holiday. He had no memory of why he went into the living room of the other house.

The barrister said the defendant had been in contact with his GP and had abstained from alcohol since this incident.

He asked the court to consider leaving something hanging over his client’s head.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said burglary was one of the most serious offences the magistrates’ court had jurisdiction to deal with.

She added that it didn’t matter that the defendant didn’t actually take anything it was a breach of private space which made it a serious offence.

Later in the court Clarke was released on his own bail of £500 to appeal against the sentence.

Under his bail conditions he is not to be outside Banbridge, he is subject to a curfew from 8pm to 6am and a complete alcohol ban was imposed.