Jailed for Woodbrook burglary

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A man who stole £4,000 in a burglary has been jailed for a total of 27 months.

Caoimhin Gallagher, of Hawthorn Grove, pleaded guilty to the burglary of the house in Woodbrook on June 8, last year.

He also admitted stealing an empty cash register from a mobile shop parked outside the house.

The 23-year-old was also sentenced for stealing a van from Lower Nassau Street in May last year.

He admitted further charges of driving whilst disqualified and having no insurance.

Derry Crown Court heard the injured party parked his work van outside his home on May 29.

He woke the following morning to find the van was missing.

It was revealed the van contained £2,000 worth of tools and equipment and was fitted with a tracing device.

This device traced the car to Gallagher’s address and to Bridgend.

CCTV was viewed which showed the 23-year-old driving the van.

A week later, the occupants of the house in Woodbrook were at home watching TV when Gallagher let himself into their home.

He stole £4,000 in cash, two handbags and two mobile phones.

The court was told the handbags contained personal photos which are ‘simply irreplaceable’.

Gallagher also stole an empty cash register from the mobile shop parked outside the injured party’s home.

None of the items were recovered.

The court heard that Gallagher has a relevant criminal record and is in breach of a suspended sentence for handling stolen goods.

The 23-year-old father of two has never seen his youngest child as he has been in custody since June last year.

Passing sentence, Judge Steven Fowler said the burglary of a dwelling is so serious that ‘only a custodial sentence is justified’.

He said such offences leave the victims with a sense of ‘violation and insecurity’.

The judge imposed for a determinate sentence of 24 months, half of which will be spent in custody and half on licence.

He also activated three months of the suspended sentence to be served consecutively.

Gallagher is also disqualified from driving for 12 months.