independent

Thursday 28 August 2014

Burglary leaves woman living in constant fear

CAME FACE TO FACE WITH INTRUDER IN HER OWN HOME

Published 20/11/2012 | 10:25

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A WOMAN lives in fear 24 hours a day after coming face to face with a burglar in her home, Sligo District court was told.

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Householder Margaret McGettigan outlined her terrifying ordeal to Judge Kevin Kilraine.

She said her house was invaded and her safety threatened by the intruder.

"I feel uncomfortable ever since and carry a fear with me 24 hours a day."

The court heard her husband had been working nights on July 20th last.

She was sleeping downstairs at her home in Calry and recalled hearing footsteps in an upstairs bedroom. She got out of bed and made some noise. She then heard someone running down the stairs and when she came to the door of her bedroom she saw a young man running past her. He fled out of the back door and got away on a bicycle.

The burglar, Mark Farrell (23), no fixed abode, admitted the offence at Faughts Lane, Calry. He was also charged with entering a house on the Strandhill Road on September 5th, with taking a bicycle at Finisklin Road on March 26th and possession of drugs at Yeats Drive on May 20th.

Mrs. McGettigan said: "I could have been attacked."

She was also fearful of seeing the culprit again either through her work or in town.

Judge Kilrane told Mrs. McGettigan that Farrell had been in her house to rob and steal.

That was the reality of the situation and he fully respected her fear.

Inspector Paul Kilcoyne said Farrell had previously served 14 months of an 18 month sentence for robbery.

The Judge told Farrell that he had terrorised Mrs. McGettigan in her home and she remained terrified since.

"Have you any idea of the damage you caused?" Judge Kilrane asked.

Farrell apologised to Mrs. McGettigan saying he had no recollection of the night.

He said: "You have nothing to fear from me in the future. I don't know what came across me that night."

The court heard he had a rare form of ADHD. He claimed he was actually terrified of the householder that night and he left.

Judge Kilrane told Farrell he was afraid he was going to be caught and this was why he ran out of the house.

Farrell said he was no longer taking drugs and wanted to get his life back on track.

He said he missed appointments with the probation service because his granny was sick.

Mr. Gerard McGovern, solicitor (defending), pleaded that Farrell had complied with strict bail conditions, including a curfew.

Judge Kilrane said he had grave difficulty accepting Farrell's various excuses.

He was remanded in custody to appear again at Sligo District Court on November 29th for sentencing.

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