Derry man stole gate from “burned-out” Burnfoot home

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A Derry man who stole a gate from outside a burned-out house between Bridgend and Burnfoot has been fined 100 euro in Buncrana District Court.

Jonathan James, 50A, Ross na Galligh, pleaded guilty to theft at Elaghbeg, Burnfoot on 30th October, 2014.

The court was told Gardai in Buncrana were acting on a report men were seen moving items from a shed at ‘Brown’s Beach,’ Inch Island. On arrival at the scene, they found James (32) and another man, as well as scrap metal on the back of their vehicle. Gardai spoke to the owner of the shed, Mr. Cecil Brown, who said he had not given permission for the removal of the scrap metal but did not want to give a statement. The court heard the men were also in possession of a metal gate, which they told Gardai they had found at a disused, burned-out house between Bridgend and Burnfoot. Gardai contacted with the owner of the house, Mr. Shaun Moynahan, who confirmed the gate had been taken without his permission.

Defence solicitor Mr. Frank Dorrian said James and his companion had been “out and about” in Derry, where they came across a metal pole “in a puddle.” They took this to a scrap dealer, where they “got a few quid for it.” He said they decided to “scavenge” for more and arrived at the house, at which there was “very little left.”

He said: “The gate was in a state of disrepair.

“They thought it was an abandoned house and they took the gate,” adding James thought he was taking “junk.”