Belfast Telegraph

Serial Derry offender burgled disabled man's flat

By George Jackson

A criminal with 93 previous convictions who broke into the flat of a disabled man has been jailed.

John Paul Gormley was sentenced to 20 months at Londonderry Crown Court yesterday.

Gormley (30), from Clooney Terrace in the Waterside area, was one of three people who admitted burgling the victim's flat at Donal Casey Court in the early hours of February 12, 2017. Gormley's co-defendants, both women, have previously been sentenced for their involvement in the incident, described by Judge Philip Babington as "very unpleasant and nasty".

The burglars gained entry to the flat by smashing a window while the occupant was sitting in his wheelchair watching TV.

Once inside they stole the victim's laptop as well as his bank card. Minutes after they fled from the flat Gormley and the two women were arrested by the police near a local bar.

Judge Babington said it was not surprising that Gormley has been assessed as a high likelihood re-offender, noting: "He has a record comprising some 93 convictions."

He added: "He deserves little credit by the way he has met this case and the delay in him having this matter resolved is his and his alone. He did not turn up for his trial and a warrant had to be issues for his arrest."

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