Man awaits sentence for ‘creeper’ burglary

Derry courthouse
Derry courthouse

A 27-year-old man who stole a car during a ‘creeper’ style burglary is to be sentenced next week.

Ryan McLaughlin, of Glenabbey Street , pleaded guilty to burglary, driving whilst disqualified and dangerous driving.

He also admitted aggravated vehicle taking causing damage, having no insurance and other motoring offences.

The charges relate to an incident on July 25, last year.

Derry Crown Court heard McLaughlin broke into a house in The Manse area of the city and stole a set of car keys.

The homeowner and her eight-year-old daughter were present in the house at the time.

The 27-year-old then drove off in the family car.

The car was spotted by police who followed it into a garage on the Glenshane Road.

McLaughlin became aware of the police and tried to drive away.

There was a brief chase before McLaughlin crashed into the police vehicles and caused damage to two of them.

It was revealed the court of this damage ‘ran into thousands’ of pounds.

McLaughlin made off after the crash and was found lying under a hedge.

During police interview, the 27-year-old made no comment.

It was revealed these offences were committed weeks after McLaughlin received a suspended sentence.

Defence solicitor David Heraghty told the court the 27-year-old was showing signs that he had reached the point where he ‘grew up’ and stopped offending.

He said on this night his client was on his way home and saw the car he took and was ‘attracted to it’.

The barrister described it as ‘an opportunistic offence’ as McLaughlin wanted to drive to Armagh to see a former partner.

Judge Philip Babington adjourned sentencing until Wednesday.

McLaughlin was released on continuing bail.