Man caught while ransacking house claimed gang chasing him

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A 19-year-old man who was caught while ransacking a house was given an eight month custodial sentence last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Emmett Byrne, Ardowen, Craigavon, was sentenced to eight months in the young offenders’ centre for entering a house at Hillcrest Mews and stealing cash between November 12 and November 15 last year. A concurrent four month term was imposed for criminal damage to a TV and pictures.

Police received a report of a burglary in progress. When they arrived they could hear voices and the defendant and another person were arrested.

The house had been ransacked and a television removed from its original position and placed at the point of entry to the house. There was a small amount of Canadian and American money found in the pocket of the defendant.

Byrne said he had been seeking refuge in the property from masked men who had been chasing him.

A barrister for the defendant said he did not have the worst record in the world and that his co-accused, who received a ten month sentence, had a worse record.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said he accepted the co-defendant had a more serious record but it would have been very distressing for someone to have found their possession thrown about like this.