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Judge hails pensioner as thieves walk free

By Michael Donnelly

Published 20/02/2016

A judge has praised a resilent pensioner as he freed a burglar who ransacked her home
A judge has praised a resilent pensioner as he freed a burglar who ransacked her home

A judge has praised a resilent pensioner as he freed a burglar who ransacked her home.

He also released a married couple who used her stolen credit card to go on a £1,200 spending spree, buying drink and two flatscreen TVs.

Judge Stephen Fowler QC told the trio that while every quality she had and displayed stood in stark contrast to theirs, he believed the public would best be protected by allowing for continued treatment in the community.

Burglar Joseph Parick McDonnell (52), of Dorset Close, Antrim, was given an 18-month jail term, suspended for two years, along with 39-year-old Gerald Francis Joseph Gould, now of Antrim Road, Belfast, who admitted fraudulently using the pensioner's credit card.

Gould's 37-year-old wife Lynn Louise Marie Gould, now also with a Belfast address in Ponsonsby Avenue, who also admitted the fraud charge, was freed on 12 months' probation.

Freeing her, the Dungannon Crown Court judge said she deserved full credit for her guilty plea.

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