A man who burgled the city centre caravan of a protesting Traveller walked free from court yesterday after his four-month jail term was suspended for three years.
Earlier this year a Belfast Crown Court jury convicted 40-year-old James Albert Arthur Jelley of entering the caravan which was parked on Donegall Square North outside the City Hall on June 24 last year.
The burglary came the day after the caravan's owner climbed to the top of the Belfast Wheel to highlight a Travellers' rights protest.
Yesterday a defence lawyer said Jelley, from Bloomfield Road in east Belfast, had committed a “stupid, drunken offence”. The lawyer asked Judge Norman Lockie to take consideration of the fact that Jelley has already spent two months on remand and that nothing was stolen during the incident.
Judge Lockie said it had been a “opportunistic burglary”.