Suspended sentence for burglar

Bishop street Courthouse
Bishop street Courthouse

A man was connected to the burglary of a construction site seven years ago by his DNA, a court has heard.

James Doherty, of Foyle Park, pleaded guilty to three charges of burglary, tampering with a motor vehicle and taking a car without authority between 2007 and 2013.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that the construction site was broken into and three sets of bricklayer tools were stolen.

Blood was found inside the container where the tools were stored and a DNA sample taken from this identified Doherty.

During police interview, the 25-year-old denied all knowledge of the break-in and said such a crime was not in his nature.

However, he was unable to provide a valid reason for his DNA being at the scene.

The court was told Doherty also stole two laptops from a house in Lower Bennett Street and laminate flooring and a drill from a house in Bellevue Avenue.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin said his client had no previous criminal record and there were no matters pending. He added that these offences were committed at a time when Doherty was struggling with drugs.

Suspending an 11 month sentence for three years, District Judge Barney McElholm said this was ‘disgraceful behaviour for anyone to be committing in the community’. The judge also imposed a 240 hour community service order.