Belfast Telegraph

Violent father and son burglary team admit to break-ins

A father and son burglary team used weapons to frighten and threaten members of the public, a court heard yesterday (stock photo)
A father and son burglary team used weapons to frighten and threaten members of the public, a court heard yesterday (stock photo)

By Paul Higgins

A father and son burglary team used weapons to frighten and threaten members of the public, a court heard yesterday.

James Hanrahan and his son John (28) were operating as part of a gang, Newry Crown Court was told.

They targeted houses in Portadown, Moy, Crossgar, Hilltown and Middleton.

James Hanrahan, from Nursery Drive in Newry, pleaded guilty to three counts of common assault, three burglary offences including burglary, burglary with intent to steal and aggravated burglary with intent to steal.

He also admitted three driving offences of dangerous driving, driving while banned and driving without insurance.

All offences were committed in February and March last year.

His son John Hanrahan, also of Nursery Drive, admitted four offences committed at the same time including burglary, two counts of burglary with intent to steal and common assault as well as a further charge of aggravated burglary committed in October 2017.

Prosecuting counsel Geraldine McCullough described how, in one incident on Benburb Road in Moy on February 26 last year the home owner's mother called her at work to say that her house had been broken into.

When she returned, she discovered that the contents of the drawers in the kitchen and dining room had been strewn all over the floor and the whole house had been ransacked.

The lawyer said that her father, who lived next door, had gone to investigate and "encountered two males" leaving the house.

One of the men pushed him and when he ran after him, said the lawyer, the burglar pulled out a screwdriver and pointed it at him and said: "Come any closer and I will put this through you."

Arrested and interviewed, each man handed police prepared statements - but later pleaded guilty to the respective offences.

Ms McCullough submitted the offences were aggravated because the father and son had relevant criminal convictions for burglary and associated offences.

She said: "They operate as part of a gang and had used weapons to frighten and threaten people."

Remanding the pair back into custody, Judge Gordon Kerr QC said he would pass sentence on Wednesday.

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