Wexford People

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Man broke in as elderly couple slept

A MAN WHO broke into the home of an elderly couple in the middle of the night while they slept before breaking into the house next door was sentenced to nine months imprisonment at last week's sitting of Wexford District Court.

Andrew Butler (26), 12 St. Herblain Close, Waterford was charged with full burglary at Nos. 9 and 10 St Ibar's Villas, Wexford on January 13, 2012. He pleaded guilty to the charges. Inspector Pat McDonald said at 3.25 a.m. Edward Carty of 9 St. Ibar's Villas woke to fine a black haired man with a white top walking around downstairs.

The intruder left and when gardai arrived Butler was seen in Number 10. He was arrested and cautioned.

He was in a fairly intoxicated state and because of this was not interviewed until the morning.

Butler, the court heard, has 40 previous convictions.

The court heard that there was no damage to No. 9 but the window of No. 10 was broken to gain entry.

The court heard Mr. Carthy and his wife were in No. 9 when Butler entered but No. 10 was unoccupied. The court heard Mr. Carthy and his wife were an elderly couple who were in their 80s.

Acting for Butler solicitor Ed King said Butler had since apologised. He said drink paid a part in his previous convictions.

Mr. King said Butler was a 26 year old man. He said he 'accepts it's reprehensible to be in someone's house at 3.15 a.m., but he has no recollection of it.'

He said Butler had been in foster care since he was 15 or 16 years.

Butler's partner is due the couple's first child the court heard and he is currently on €186 social welfare.

He said drink is a problem in Butler's life and had completed a FAS course.

Mr. King said Butler had his drinking under control and was linking in with the psychiatric services.

Judge Gerard Haughton said ' he might not remember being in the house but the 80 year old victim will never forget it. I don't know what someone who resides in Waterford is doing in Wexford at 3.30 a.m. breaking into a house and disturbing the owners before going next door.'

Judge Haughton sentenced him to nine months in jail for the burglary in No. 9 St. Ibar's Villas and six months imprisonment for the burglary at No. 10 saying 'if you break into an elderly person's home in my district you go to jail unless there are compelling circumstances.'

Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal which were met before the end of the court sitting allowing Butler to walk free until his appeal in the Circuit Court.