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Man who ransacked Kilkeel home of woman (89) as she lay in bed is jailed


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They left with a quantity of jewellery and a brown handbag containing £80

They left with a quantity of jewellery and a brown handbag containing £80

They left with a quantity of jewellery and a brown handbag containing £80

A man who broke into the home of an 89-year-old woman and ransacked it while she lay in bed has been jailed for 33 months.

Newry Crown Court heard that the incident at the pensioner's Kilkeel home in January 2015, when he stole £80 and jewellery, was part of a burglary spree by John Connors (40) and another man designed to fund Connors' drug addiction.

Jailing the father-of-nine and ordering him to spend half his sentence in custody and half on licence, Judge Gordon Kerr QC told Connors it had been an "appalling series of offences".

At an earlier hearing Connors, from Moatview in Kilmead, a village in Co Kildare, pleaded guilty to nine offences, including five counts of burglary, and other counts of theft, possessing a weapon, criminal damage and assault with intent to resist arrest, all committed between January 22 and 24, 2015.

In an agreed statement of the facts, prosecuting counsel Fiona O'Kane described how the pensioner was in bed when two men with their hoods pulled up broke in through a rear bedroom window and ransacked her home.

They left with a quantity of jewellery and a brown handbag containing £80.

Among the other offences, Connors admitted to stealing a caravan from outside a house in Rostrevor and a gaming console and controllers from a Kilkeel youth club.

At a house in Ballynahinch where the pair tried to steal a caravan, the home owner confronted the burglars and used his car to try to block their escape, but they rammed it out of the way using the silver Jeep they were driving.

Connors and his accomplice were arrested while still towing the caravan they had stolen on Kilbroney Road in Rostrevor. When Connors was searched police found a small black jewellery box taken from the pensioner's home and a baton.

Both Connors and his accomplice had to be "forcibly removed" from the Jeep and refused to answer police questions during interviews.

The delay in bringing the case to court was due to Connors breaching bail conditions by fleeing across the border, but after he was jailed for other offences committed in the Republic, he was transferred north again.

Jailing Connors and ordering the baton to be destroyed, Judge Kerr said the thief was still assessed as posing a "high risk of reoffending" but was not considered dangerous.

Belfast Telegraph


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