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Armagh man who broke into shed and tried to steal motorbike jailed

The judge said the accused had amassed 88 previous convictions, including seven assaults on police, plus seven offences of dishonesty and seven of criminal damage

An Armagh man who broke into a shed and tried to steal a motorbike has been handed a 31-month sentence.

Conor Henry Lennon, from the Newry Road, will spend half of those 31 months behind bars after he pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage, burglary with intent to steal, and assault on police.

The 38-year-old, who was already in breach of two suspended sentences, appeared before Newry Crown Court on Thursday, via videolink from Maghaberry.

The court heard that on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at 3.30am, police attended an address in Armagh, where the resident reported being away from the property for a time before returning to find the front door would not open with his key.

At the rear of the house a black bin had been moved and placed up against the wall at the kitchen window. The window was prised open, with evident damage to the frame.

The snib on the front door had been activated which can only be done from inside the property. Nothing was taken from the property.

At 6.30am, police attended a nearby property, which belonged to the defendant’s ex-partner. When the police arrived the front door of the address was open. Lennon came to the door with blood over his face and hands, something he had no explanation for.

Police believed he was heavily under the influence of drink or drugs. He then became aggressive towards the police and while escorting Lennon to the cell van, he kicked an officer in the head.

The following morning, the police received a report of a burglary in the Orangefield Gardens area of Armagh.

An outhouse had been broken into and a motorbike parked outside was damaged, which appears to have been caused by Lennon’s attempts to force the bike to start.

Forensic examinations showed Lennon’s fingerprints on the inside of the property and during interview he made no comment to all questions put to him.

He was asked if he could explain why his fingerprints and blood related to the two properties. He declined to answer.

In passing sentence, His Honour Judge Gordon Kerr said he was a man who has amassed 88 previous convictions, including seven assaults on police, plus seven offences of dishonesty and seven of criminal damage.

Said Judge Kerr: “The prosecution suggest that he’s entitled to some credit for his plea of guilty, although he was effectively caught red-handed…”

Lennon was sentenced to 31 months, 15-and-a-half of which will be spent in Maghaberry Prison.

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