Burglar who claimed he was looking for taxi jailed
A predatory burglar with more than 100 previous convictions has been given a three-year sentence for break-ins committed over a two-day period.
Darren James Porter (22), from Grange Drive, Ballyclare, pleaded guilty to two burglaries and two attempted burglaries committed last September.
A defence lawyer told Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, that his client wanted to apologise to his victims.
But Judge Stephen Fowler QC told the defendant he was a persistent offender who was willing to prey on others and, as such, a custodial sentence was justified.
He added Porter was lucky his first victim, an 82-year-old man living in a rural home, had not suffered a heart attack when he fled his house after hearing the glass of his door being broken.
The defendant's blood was recovered from the scene and from the garage door of another house, but he denied having anything to do with the crimes.
The night after the first attack, a man was at home in Comber when he heard a door closing. He went to investigate and met a neighbour who said that another man had attempted to break into her property.
The defendant was found in the woman's garden a short time later, after which he tried to escape and threw a punch, but he was restrained and held at the scene until police arrived.
The burglar initially claimed he was looking for a taxi when he was "set upon for no good reason" before later confessing.
Porter will serve 18 months' jail, followed by the same period on supervised release.