Teen who assaulted neighbour during burglary given jail term
A young man who burgled his neighbour's home whilst two young children slept in their beds has been handed a 21-month sentence.
As well as targeting his neighbour's north Belfast home, Tiernan Og McAteer refused to leave the premises when confronted by the male occupant, who he then assaulted.
The 18-year old appeared at Belfast Crown Court and was told by Judge Gordon Kerr QC that he will serve half his sentence in custody, with the remaining half spent on supervised licence upon his release.
McAteer admitted three offences arising from the early morning break-in - burglary, criminal damage and assault.
Co-accused Lee Martin Patrick Lindsay (23) from Glenard Brook in Belfast appeared alongside McKenna.
He admitted a charge of handling stolen goods, after he was caught close to the targeted property with a 42-inch TV which had just been stolen.
He was handed a 12-month sentence which will be split between six months in custody and six on licence.
Crown prosecutor David McClean told the court that in the early hours of June 26 last year, a family including two children aged five and eight were asleep in their Oldpark Square home.
At around 2.30am, the male occupant was woken from his sleep to find a male intruder in his bedroom holding a 27-inch TV which had been removed from his son's bedroom.
He shouted at the male intruder to get out of his house, which woke his wife.
The female occupant was able to identify the intruder as her neighbour Tiernan McAteer, who at the time of the burglary also lived in Oldpark Square.
When he was confronted in the bedroom, McAteer ran down the stairs, dropping and smashing the TV in the process.
He then ran into the kitchen, and when he was confronted again by the male occupant, McAteer kicked him twice.
A defence barrister representing McAteer spoke of her client's young age and revealed that due to the "very significant difficulties" in his life, he had spent most of his teenage years in custody.
A solicitor for Lindsay also spoke of difficulties in his life, including "substance abuse and misuse", and revealed that at the time of the break-in, Lindsay "had taken a large amount of Diazepam and his thinking was distorted".