21-year-old jailed for ten months for burglary

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A 21-year-old man who stole £3,000 worth of jewellery during a burglary has been jailed for ten months.

Thomas Gerard Ward, who has no address but is originally from Dundalk, pleaded guilty to the burglary of a house in Greysteel on February 12, 2012.

He also admitted the burglary of a chip shop in Bishop Street on August 18, 2012.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the house in Greysteel was broken into and ransacked. Jewellery worth £3,000 was taken.

Blood was found at the scene and the DNA matched that of Ward’s.

In August of that year, the staff room of a chip shop was broken into and money was stolen from two handbags. A total of £1,300 was taken along with a passport.

A fingerprint matching Ward’s was found at the scene.

The 21-year-old was arrested in September this year and he claimed he had no recollection of either incident.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin said at the time his client was heavily dependent on alcohol and drugs but ‘now wants to make a clean breast of matters’.

He added that Ward had been in custody in the Republic of Ireland for more than a year.

Jailing Ward, District Judge Barney McElholm said the jewellery stolen ‘may have had priceless sentimental value’ and the people who had money stolen were at a ‘severe loss’.