Trespasser identified by DNA evidence

Craigavon Court House. INLM0311-117gc
Craigavon Court House. INLM0311-117gc

A 22-year-old man was identified by DNA evidence when blood was found inside a house under construction in Lurgan, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Friday.

Michael Paul McGrath, Rectory Park, Lurgan, admitted entering as a trespasser houses at Belvedere Manor on June 18 last year.

He also admitted criminal damage to the front windows and outside decorative lights at site 23, and at site 24 to the front windows, a copper hot press, metal radiator, stairs, kitchen fittings and carpets.

Mr McGrath was given a combination order of 12 months’ probation and 100 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay £200 compensation towards the damage.

The court heard that police received a report of a burglary at two houses at Belvedere Manor and spoke to the owner of the development, who said there was extensive damage to two houses on the site.

A blood sample was found at one of the houses and Mr McGrath was linked through DNA. He admitted the offences.

A public prosecutor said they had asked for an invoice for the damage caused, but none had been forthcoming.

The houses had been under construction and there was extensive damage caused.

A barrister representing Mr McGrath said there was nothing of this nature on his record and there was nothing further in the pipeline.

He added that the defendant never had probation, which would help him with the issues he has with alcohol and drugs.

The lawyer asked the court to allow Mr McGrath one last chance to engage with probation and added that he was willing to do community service as well.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said what happened was ‘just wanton destruction’ and Mr McGrath had been connected by DNA evidence.