Judge jokes that accused didn’t touch the porridge
A ‘Goldilocks’ style intruder who ate a homeowner’s food before falling fast asleep in her bed has claimed it was all a terrible mistake.
Burglary accused Lee Heaney (21) was chased by the shocked woman after she returned from a shoppng trip to find him completely naked and asleep in the bedroom of her Armagh home.
But Heaney claimed he had been drinking and believed he had gone to the home of his sister, who lived nearby, before helping himself to a chicken burger and Alphabite frozen potato shapes.
Appearing at Banbridge Magistrates Court, sitting in Newry, by video-link from police custody, Heaney was charged with burglary of the property on Mullaghcreevy Park in Armagh, on December 15.
A police constable told the court on Thursday how cops were called to a “possible burglary” the day beforehand.
When officers got to the property, the female homeowner told them she had come home “to find a male sleeping, naked, in her bedroom under the blanket”.
“He was chased from the property and whilst he had been there he had helped himself to food and drink from the kitchen,” said the officer.
He added that Heaney had gained entry through an unlocked back door.
“He did not have permission to go in,” said the cop who told the court Heaney was arrested nearby.
During questioning, Heaney said he had “a few drinks in him” and thought the house belonged to his sister who lives nearby.
“I was drunk... I thought it was my sister’s house so I went to sleep and then that woman came in and woke me and I sprinted up and realised it was the wrong house,” Heaney told the interviewing officers.
Comparing the case to Goldilocks and the three bears, defence solicitor Patrick Higgins submitted the case amounted to Heaney “spending the night in the wrong house completely by mistake”.
“I don’t think this meets the standard for criminality,” he said.
“The police case is that he has eaten some food, Alphabites (frozen potatoes), a chicken burger and brown sauce,” said Mr Higgins.
This raised a smile with District Judge Eamon King who enquired, “What, no porridge?”
The judge freed Heaney on his own bail of £250 with conditions that he must reside at his home address on Mullaghcreevy Park and is not to be under the influence of alcohol in public.
He adjourned the case to January 11.