Four-year jail term for serial burglar
An “institutionalised” career burglar who attacked an off-duty policewoman when she disturbed him during a break-in at her flat has been jailed for four years.
Sentencing Anthony Robert Montgomery (42), of Dunluce Avenue, Belfast, at the city’s Crown Court, Judge Norman Lockie said it was clear that with a “substantial criminal record” over the past 30 years and subjecting the off-duty officer to a “determined, sustained and vicious encounter” last February, he posed a danger to the public.
Judge Lockie ordered that when released, Montgomery, who has a total of 191 previous convictions — including one for manslaughter, 38 for burglary, five for possessing a weapon, two for robbery and four assaults, as well as others for arson, rioting and 11 for assaulting the police — will spend a further two years on licence “to protect members of the public”.
At the end of his two-week trial in June, the jury took just 25 minutes to convict Montgomery of burglary, causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage.
They had heard that he had forced his way into the apartment at St John's Wharf in Belfast just before 5pm on February 26 last year and was in a bedroom when the off-duty officer arrived home.
As the pair struggled over a handbag, Montgomery reached into a hall closet and grabbed a gardening tool which he used to try to attack the policewoman. This left her with a gash to her right hand which needed seven stitches after she defended herself by grabbing the “sharp-bladed” tool.
Montgomery was arrested in Newcastle seven hours later.