A 19-year-old man has pleaded guilty to the burglary and criminal damage of a Bridgend restaurant earlier this year.
John Wall, with an address at Templeogue, Dublin, appeared at Buncrana District Court yesterday in relation to the offences, which occurred at Harry’s Bar and Restaurant, Bridgend in the early hours of March 14th this year.
He was ordered to pay compensation and will now be assessed for community service.
The court was told the Renault Scenic car in which Wall was a passenger had earlier been stolen in Pennyburn, Derry. It had also allegedly been involved in a “ram raid” in the city.
Wall, who has no previous convictions, is the second man to appear in Buncrana District Court in relation to the incident. His co-accused, Thomas McDonagh, from Derry was sentenced to six months imprisonment, with three months suspended, in May.
Yesterday, the court heard that when Gardai surrounded the restaurant, after receiving a report alerting them to the car, Walls, a member of the travelling community, fled.
He was later apprehended outside the Blackthorn amusements in the border village. He was intoxicated and told Gardai he had walked to Bridgend after falling out with his girlfriend, who he had travelled from Dublin to Derry to visit.
But, CCTV footage taken from a nearby petrol station, showed Wall, who was wearing a white top, getting out of the car and paying for items at a ‘hatch.’
Defence solicitor Mr Frank Dorrian said his client had become involved in a “drinking bout” and had been deemed unfit to be interviewed by a doctor at Buncrana Garda Station.
He said Wall, who is epileptic and diabetic, had got involved in a “spree that got out of control” and when he fled, had “effectively been wandering around Bridgend,” before being apprehended.
He said Wall’s attempt at burglary had been “inept” and was the “least capable” of all the participants,
Buncrana Garda Inspector David Murphy told the court a total of 1500 euro damage had been done to the restaurant on the night. He said smashed glass, money and a till had been strewn over the floor. A shovel, not belonging to the premises, was found on the floor, and a window had been smashed.
Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case until November for a probation and community service report and ordered Wall to come up with the compensation by then.