Belfast Telegraph

Four months for addict behind string of burglaries to fund £100-a-day heroin habit

By Nevin Farrell

A serial burglar who broke into premises on the north coast to feed his £100-a-day heroin addiction has received a four month prison sentence.

Garth Ronald Ferguson (33), of Girona Avenue, Portrush, struck at The Hidden Cove cafe in the town on May 21 last year when £300 was stolen, and four days later he targeted three premises in Coleraine.

He stole £30 cash from a staff office at the Station Arcade at Railway Road, Coleraine; a laptop from the Clarke Partnership at Lodge Road, Coleraine, and also burgled Home Made restaurant at Railway Road with intent to steal.

At Coleraine Magistrates' Court yesterday, Ferguson entered guilty pleas.

Ferguson's blood was found at the scene in Portrush and a fingerprint was also recovered.

He told police he had a £100-a-day heroin habit and was stealing to fund it.

A prosecutor said after the theft of cash from the Station Arcade a member of the public chased Ferguson and the defendant handed over £10.

The defendant also scaled a drainpipe at the Clarke Partnership and stole a laptop worth over £300 and again his blood was at the scene.

The prosecutor said Ferguson later turned up at a shop in Coleraine "covered in blood" and tried to sell the laptop.

Nothing was taken from the Home Made restaurant, the court was told.

Ferguson told police he had travelled to Coleraine by train while under the influence of a large quantity of "various drugs".

Defence barrister Ben Thompson said a pre-sentence report found that his client was at "risk" of being "institutionalised".

District Judge Liam McNally said the defendant had 40 previous burglary convictions, which he added was "as bad as I have seen".

He jailed the defendant for four months for the Portrush offence, but Ferguson was released as he had already served that time on remand in prison.

The defendant was given a nine months jail term, suspended for three years, for the May 25 burglaries.

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