Belfast Telegraph

Man who went on four-hour south Belfast roof rampage jailed

Steven McCauley is arrested as Armed response officers and emergency services deal with a male throwing bricks from a roof causing mass damage in Ashley Drive , South Belfast on May 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Steven McCauley is arrested as Armed response officers and emergency services deal with a male throwing bricks from a roof causing mass damage in Ashley Drive , South Belfast on May 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

By Ashleigh McDonald

A 27-year-old man who went on a four-hour rampage in a south Belfast residential street where he caused extensive damage to homes and cars has been handed a two year and eight month sentence.

Stephen McCauley, whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry, was told he will spend a year and two months of his sentence in prison, followed by a period of a year and six months on licence when he is realeased.

He appeared at Belfast Crown Court on Friday, where it emerged he had 118 previous convictions.

Jailing McCauley, Judge Patricia Smyth told him: "Unless you engage in with the licence requirement which includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, you are likely to spend most of your adult life in prison, because the safety of the community has to be the priority."

Armed response officers and emergency services deal with a male throwing bricks from a roof causing mass damage in Ashley Drive , South Belfast on May 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Armed response officers and emergency services deal with a male throwing bricks from a roof causing mass damage in Ashley Drive , South Belfast on May 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Police were called to Ashley Drive at 9.30pm on Sunday, May 27 last year following reports of a man on the roofs of terraced houses. When officers arrived, they saw McCauley who began shouting and making threats about setting fire to the houses.

During his four-hour roof rampage, he dismantled chimney stacks and kicked them off roofs, and broke roof tiles which he threw at police. He damaged cars with the launched missiles, and also broke skylights and threw debris into houses.

Prosecutor Simon Jenkins said McCauley also caused injury to a police negotiator by throwing masonry from the roof at him which struck his right flank.

Armed response officers and emergency services deal with a male throwing bricks from a roof causing mass damage in Ashley Drive , South Belfast on May 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Armed response officers and emergency services deal with a male throwing bricks from a roof causing mass damage in Ashley Drive , South Belfast on May 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

McCauley's destructive actions continued until the early hours of the following morning, when he came down from the roof and was arrested.

Damage was caused to nine houses and three vehicles in the street, with the repair bill estimated to be around £39,000.

During police interview, McCauley admitted being on the roof but claimed he ended up there after being chased by a group of males. He later admitted 12 counts of criminal damage, and a charge of assaulting a police officer.

In her sentencing remarks, Judge Smyth said McCauley "ran amok" in residential area where he instilled fear in "innocent members of the public" over a sustained period.

Armed response officers and emergency services deal with a male throwing bricks from a roof causing mass damage in Ashley Drive , South Belfast on May 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Armed response officers and emergency services deal with a male throwing bricks from a roof causing mass damage in Ashley Drive , South Belfast on May 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

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