A Belfast man climbed through his attic to raid housing association headquarters located next door, a court heard today.
Eamonn Quinn (33) was put on 18 months probation for breaking into offices in the Short Strand district to steal a cash box and cheque books.
A defence lawyer said: “He’s ashamed of his behaviour.”
Quinn pleaded guilty to carrying out the burglary at St Matthew’s Housing Association premises beside his Harper Street home.
Belfast Magistrates Court heard police went to the scene after an alarm activated in the early hours of December 11 last year.
There were no signs of forced entry, but money and cheque books were missing.
Quinn was arrested after officers spotted him in the area.
Defence solicitor Brendan Blaney said the offence was due to his client’s chronic drug habit.
Describing the “unusual” circumstances, Mr Blaney told the court: “He shares an attic and climbed down through the attic to take the cash box with approximately £50 (in it).”
The lawyer added: “He’s hard working when sober.”
District Judge Fiona Bagnall imposed the probation order, with conditions that Quinn participates in a drug and alcohol programme.
“If this is a moment of intervention I will give him that opportunity,” she said.
But she also warned Quinn: “I want you to be aware the consequences of failing in this programme is that you will find yourself looking at custody.”