‘Serious nuisance’ jailed for two and a half years

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A man with ‘one of the worst’ criminal records has been jailed for two and a half years for the burglary of a bookmakers.

John Patrick McGilloway has 245 previous convictions and over 70 of these are for burglary.

McGilloway, of Bloomfield Park, pleaded guilty to the burglary of Ladbrokes Bookmakers between April 4 and April 8, last year.

Derry Crown Court heard the burglary occurred on Grand National weekend.

The court was told entry was forced to the premises in Patrick Street and McGilloway went into a room where the safes were kept.

He made attempts to open two of the safes but this was unsuccessful.

The 32-year-old gained entry to a second room by smashing glass panels on a door.

A mobile phone and a wireless internet router were stolen.

The court was told blood was found on the door and a hammer and chisel were left behind at the scene.

McGilloway was arrested and during police interview claimed he had never been in Ladbrokes and there would be nothing to link him to the burglary.

However, he was interviewed again after forensic analysis connected him to the blood and hammer.

During this interview he could give no reason for why his blood was there.

The court was told the items stolen were worth approximately £200.

It was also revealed that the burglary was committed while McGilloway was on licence.

Defence counsel Ivor McAteer told the court McGilloway has been ‘dealt a very difficult hand in life’.

He said the 32-year-old has been ‘in trouble from an early age’ and the main cause of his offending is drugs.

However, the barrister said hMcGilloway has made progress with his addiction whilst in custody.

Jailing McGilloway, Judge Phillip Babington said he had ‘a very poor record, one of the worst about with 245 previous convictions’.

He said ‘burglary is a very serious offence and involves an intrusion into peoples’ property, business and homes’ and the 32-year-old is a ‘serious nuisance to the people of the city’.

The judge added ‘the court wants to see you rehabilitated but is not going to endanger community safety at the same time’.

Judge Babington imposed a determinate sentence for two and a half years, half of which will be spent in custody and half on licence.