Man who took dog to burgle a house jailed

Bishop Street courthouse, Londonderry
Bishop Street courthouse, Londonderry

A 31-years-old man who took his dog with him when he went to burgle a house has been jailed for 14 months.

Alan Whelan,of Corrib Court, admitted burglary with intent to steal on September 3, 2014.

Derry Crown Court heard the householder went to bed and left her front door unlocked.

In the early hours of the morning, she heard a noise and thought it was her son, but then she heard the front door slam and looked out the window.

She saw a man running away from her house accompanied by a dog and she noted the clothes he was wearing.

A few days later the woman recognised the dog accompanied by Whelan who was wearing the same clothes as the burglar.

She recognised Whelan as he used to live nearby.

A pair of ‘Vans’ trainers were found in a search of the 31-year-old’s home and forensic tests revealed ‘strong support for a match’ to footprints found in the property.

During police interview, Whelan denied the offences.

The court was told that he had a ‘very relevant record with convictions for burglary dating back to 2007.

Passing sentence Judge Philip Babington said the offending was aggravated by the fact that the burglary occurred at night in a domestic setting.

The judge imposed a determinate sentence of 14 months.

Whelan will serve half this sentence in custody and the remaining half on licence in the community.