Man who broke into Western House in Coalisland was trying to get out of the rain

Police

Police

A man who broke into Western House in the middle of Coalisland was trying to get out of the rain, a court has heard.

Appearing in court via video link from HMP Maghaberry was Owen Roe Fay, 28, from Shanoch Close. He pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal and criminal damage to a window on March 23.

The court heard how a woman had gone back to Western House on the night in question to retrieve her phone charger when she heard noises coming from the toilet.

The defendant then exited the room and, without speaking, walked out of the building.

The lady called the police after seeing that a window had been broken and Fay was subsequently arrested. He made admissions to the offences at the scene.

Mr Fintan McAleer, defending, told the court that his client had issues with alcohol. He said that he had been drinking and had forced his way into the building because it was raining and he was cold.

“His intent was to take some coffee or food only. Nothing else was intended,” he said.

“He acknowledges how foolish this was. It is the most foolish thing that he has done in his life - particularly because he has suspended sentences.”

He said that his client apologised to the lady for causing her any fear but reminded the court that there had been “no aggression or even words” between them during the incident.

Mr McAleer said Fay still wished to make amends.

“These are serious offences, not trivial when set against his criminal record,” said Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall.

“He is not yet 30 yet he has 20 previous entries including burglary and robbery,” she told him as she handed down a total of three months in prison.

She then activated his suspended sentences, ordering that the five month sentence run consecutively to the first to give a total sentence of eight months in prison.