Home COURTS Coleraine court told defendant ‘remorseful’ after a burglary to pay drug debts

Coleraine court told defendant ‘remorseful’ after a burglary to pay drug debts


A Judge has warned a drug addict who was charged with burglary, to ‘stay away from the retailers’ that got him into the position.

Robert Montgomery (25) of an address listed on the Loughabin Road in Dunloy, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court charged with burglary of various items from a property on the Killrammer Road Ballymoney on August 6, 2019.

A prosecutor in the case said that the injured party reported that there had been a burglary at his home address which he believed had occurred that afternoon.

He said that he hadn’t himself witnessed it but that a neighbour had seen a vehicle with a trailer entering his property on at least two occasions, leaving with a “variety of materials”.

The court further heard the injured party went to a local scrap business, namely T-Met `ltd, where after speaking to staff identified a number of similar items which had been taken from his property and “deposited” with the scrap business.

Receipts for these items totalled in the region of £222 the Prosecutor said but that the injured party believed that the true value was in the region of £1,500 and had provided the court with a breakdown for these items and their cost.

Following a Police investigation, the defendant was identified and during Police, questioning made a full admission to taking the items in question, but could only recall entering the yard on one occasion. However, the defendant did accept that at the time he was using drugs “quite heavily” and “couldn’t remember”.

District Judge Peter King told the Court that the defendant “seemed to be making every effort” to appear with the Probation Board and that he was “extremely keen” to engage, concluding that the report was “very positive”.

Defence Barrister Thomas McKeever said that his client had a chronic drug problem at the time which had spiralled out of control which the court hearing that these drugs were cocaine and methamphetamine.

The court heard the defendant had a drug debt outstanding and that threats were being made against him and carrying out the burglary was a “necessity” at the time BUT the defendant now accepts that there were other ways he could have obtained the money and was now “intensely remorseful” for his behaviour.

The court heard that following the defendant receiving treatment, he has been drug-free since the incident and that this had been a “wake up call” and that a recommendation had been made for community service. The Defence Barrister asked that credit be given for a guilty plea and how his client had dealt with the matter.

The defendant who was present in court was told by District Judge Peter King that he had a limited record but that he regretfully came before the court with one of the most serious allegations that the Magistrates Court could here.

Judge King said that under normal circumstances it wouldn’t have been a case of weather or not the defendant was going to prison but a case of how long for.

In sentencing, Judge King said he was prepared to deal with this in a way that would keep the defendant in the community and ordered him to pay £750 compensation along with completing 200hrs community service.