Sex-demand burglar wins appeal
A burglar who once demanded sex from one his victims has won an appeal against his indefinite prison sentence.
Paul Duncan Pollins (24) was arrested in April last year after a woman heard breaking glass in her house in the early hours.
Police who arrived at scene recovered two large knives from the defendant.
Pollins, from Roden Street, west Belfast, later admitted aggravated burglary and was given three years' jail.
But because he was convicted of burglary with intent to rape when he was 16 – the incident where he demanded sex after breaking into a house and crawling on a woman's bed – a judge said that for the protection of the public, the Parole Board would set his release date.
Pollins appealed the decision and, yesterday, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan gave a new sentence of three years in jail and eight on licence.
Outlining his reasons, Sir Declan said an indeterminate custodial term was one of the most draconian available to the courts, and that it should not be imposed if there were alternative ways of protecting the public.
Sir Declan said: "His earlier lifestyle indicated that change was going to be difficult, but the path to change was open.
"This was not a case where the last resort of an indeterminate sentence was appropriate."
The court in Belfast also heard how much of Pollins' behaviour was fuelled by drink and drugs.