Man committed ‘breach of trust’ - court hears

A Claudy man was told he had committed a “breach of trust” when he stole copper piping from his property, a District Judge said last week.

Appearing at Limavady Magistrates Court last Wednesday was Ronald Kennedy, aged 21 and with an address at 19 Creggmount, Claudy. He was convicted of burglary and theft, non dwelling; having entered as a trespasser an outshed at a property on Teeavan Road.

The court heard at 1.25am on August 11, police received a call from the proprietor of a property at Teevan Road in Dungiven. It was reported that he had come into his yard and saw two youths and copper piping lying to the side of a car. The injured party spoke with them and identified one of them - Kennedy - who had worked as a sheep shearer.

The injured party said the scrap metal was valued at £500.

Kennedy subsequently admitted he knew where the piping was stored on the property and stealing it. He said he had been returning to pick up a pair of sheep shears and at that time took the opportunity to take the piping, the court was told.

Defence solicitor, Paddy McGurk said Kennedy knew the court viewed the matter as very serious. Mr. McGurk said Kennedy had seen the piping previously and “he makes no bones about it”. Mr. McGurk said Kennedy explained at that time his friends were going on holidays and he had no money and he foolishly succumbed to temptation and drove to the farm.

Mr. McGurk said Kennedy had asked if he could write a letter of apology to the injured party who had been good to him in the past. Mr. McDermott said Kennedy knew it was a “disgraceful” thing to do and he was “ashamed” of his conduct.

District Judge Paul Copeland said it was a “pre-planned theft”, and a “breach of trust”. Mr. Copeland said Kennedy had used his knowledge to “go back and steal from him”.

Mr. Copeland said Kennedy had taken advantage of his knowledge and of the remote position of the property.

Kennedy received a jail sentence of three months, suspended for two years, and was fined £275. He was also ordered to pay an offender’s levy of £15.