Distraction burglary accused granted bail
A 20-year old man arrested at Gatwick Airport who faces charges linked to two distraction burglaries at the homes of two pensioners in Northern Ireland has been granted High Court bail.
Patrick Sean Murphy — a member of the Travelling community whose address was given as a caravan site at Shootacrane Lane in Buckinghamshire — is facing two charges of burglary with intent to steal. Belfast's High Court heard that on both occasions, the households targeted were occupied by vulnerable, elderly residents.
Crown representative Philip Henry said there was a gap between the two offences, but that the modus operandi was the same. The first incident occurred at Greenisland on January 10, 2012 while the second was committed on March 21, 2014.
Telling the court Murphy was connected to both incidents via fingerprints and DNA, Mr Henry said: “The common feature between both incidents is that a male who the prosecution say was the applicant goes in to an elderly person's residence under the auspices of working for the water authority.
“After knocking the door, he says there's a problem in the area and could he come in to test and check the water. He's wearing a high visibility vest to give the appearance of legitimacy.”