Jail for man described in court as ‘serious nuisance’

A man described as having one of the worst criminal records to come before the court, was jailed for two-and-a-half years on a charge of burglary at a bookmakers in the city.

In the dock was John Patrick McGilloway (32), with an address at Bloomfield Park has 245 previous convictions and over 70 of these are for burglary.

McGilloway, of Bloomfield Park, pleaded guilty to the burglary of Ladbrokes Bookmakers between April 4 and April 8, last year.

Derry Crown Court heard the burglary occurred on Grand National weekend.

The court was told entry was forced to the premises in Patrick Street and McGilloway went into a room where a number of safes were kept.

The Prosecution said that McGilloway made attempts to open two of the safes but this was unsuccessful.

They said the 32-year-old gained entry to a second room by smashing glass panels on a door. Here a mobile phone and a wireless Internet router were stolen.

The Prosecution told the court that blood was found on the door, while a hammer and chisel were left behind at the scene.

McGilloway was arrested, but during a subsequent police interview he claimed that he had never been in Ladbrokes adding that there would be nothing to link him to the burglary.

However, he was interviewed again after forensic analysis was produced which connected him to the blood and hammer left at the scene.

During this second interview, the Prosecution said, McGilloway could not give a reason for why his blood was found at Ladbrokes.

The court was also told the items stolen in the incident were worth approximately £200.

It was also revealed that the burglary was committed while McGilloway was on licence.

Defence counsel Ivor McAteer told the court McGilloway has been dealt a very difficult hand in life.

He said the 32-year-old had been in trouble from an early age and the main cause of his offending was due to drugs.

However, the barrister said McGilloway had made progress with his addiction while in custody.

Jailing McGilloway, Judge Phillip Babington said he had a very poor record: “One of the worst about, with 245 previous convictions”.

He said: “Burglary is a very serious offence and involves an intrusion into peoples’ property, business and homes”.

Describing McGilloway as a serious nuisance to the people of the city, he said: “The court wants to see you rehabilitated but is not going to endanger community safety at the same time”.

Judge Babington imposed a determinate sentence for two-and-a-half years, half of which will be spent in custody and half on licence.