Woman found man wearing her clothes

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.
Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.

A local woman this week described her horror at finding a man wearing her clothes when she returned from a night out.

The victim said she was shocked to find John Maguire inside her home on September 22 last year wearing two of her tops.

Later she discovered the burglar from Moytown Road, Aghagallon had rifled through and stolen her underwear.

At Craigavon Court last Friday 18-year-old Maguire was sentenced to 18 months probation and ordered to pay his victim £250 compensation. He is also subject to a restraining order barring him from any contact with the injured party for two years.

Judge Mervyn Bates said that while it was a burglary there were ‘particular undertones to this burglary’.

After court the victim described how she had returned from a night out to find her door locked from the inside. “I couldn’t get in and after 10 minutes of knocking, to my horror, John Maguire stood before me wearing my clothes. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was in total shock.

“He then took off the two tops belonging to me and ran off topless in the direction of his house,” said the victim.

“After ringing the police I went upstairs and the sight I saw before me I will never forget. He had the majority of my underwear placed carefully on my bed, some on the floor and others on my bedside drawers. I could see his tee shirt and belt on my floor and felt physically sick. His boxers were lying on my window sill and he had ransacked through my wardrobes and drawers trying on a few dresses and nightwear which he had ripped while doing so.

“This is not something any women should have to witness in their own home and the fact that it was done by someone I know makes it all the more difficult.

“I think he’s a very sick and sad individual and it makes me sick to my stomach that he felt the need to break into my home and wear my clothes,” she said.

In court, Maguire’s solicitor attempted to have the injured party gagged from speaking about the incident on social media. However, Judge Mervyn Bates said that would be tantamount to reporting restrictions and denied the request.

His solicitor also said Maguire apologised for his actions and had been very drunk.

However, the victim said: “When Maguire’s solicitor tried in court to get a gag order against me so I couldn’t speak about it, it really was the last straw for me. He got into my home, used my bedroom for his kicks and has caused me a serious amount of emotional stress and financial damage. For him to walk away from this and to try and get the court to silence me so they can continue to deny what happened is a huge blow below the belt in my eyes.

“And the £250 damage costs are an absolute insult considering it cost me at least £2,500 to completely redecorate my bedroom from top to bottom as I could not sleep in it for weeks after the incident until it looked completely different and felt that he had never been in it.

“I also had to throw out bags upon bags of clothes from the drawers that he touched and of course every single item of underwear.

“This whole incident has been a total invasion of my privacy, I feel violated and uncomfortable in my own home knowing he was in every room in my house including my son’s bedroom, emptying out a dirty washing basket and rummaging through it. It’s caused me a great deal of stress and upset and I don’t think that will ever go away.”