Burglar ‘predator’ gets three years jail

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A “predatory” burglar who admitted breaking into three churches and seven houses has been jailed for almost three years.

21 year-old Bernard Cooke from Lettershandoney Avenue was sentenced to 32 months imprisonment and a further 16 months on licence at Derry Crown Court yesterday.

The offences included breaking into St Patrick’s Church, Pennyburn, St Brigids’s Church, Carnhill, and St Mary’s parochial house, Ardmore, as well as a number of domestic properties, between October and December 2012.

Sentencing Cooke, Judge Stephen Fowler said; “It is clear your offending was predatory, preying on fellow citizens.”

The PSNI welcomed the sentence and vowed to reduce the number of burglaries in the city.

Constable Lisa McKernan said: “The community will hopefully feel safer knowing that a prolific burglar is behind bars, particularly one who targeted places of worship as well as peoples’ homes.”