Northern Ireland news

Man jailed for raiding woman's house while she slept

Marc Trevor Wilson (33), of Henderson Avenue, pleaded guilty to a single charge of burglary

A NORTH Belfast man has been jailed for eight months for raiding a woman's house while she slept on the sofa.

Marc Trevor Wilson (33), of Henderson Avenue, who has 20 previous convictions, pleaded guilty to a single charge of burglary.

Belfast Crown Court heard Wilson entered the home in Cedar Avenue, north Belfast on December 4 2017.

The court was told that Wilson opened the unlocked front door and went into the living room where the female occupant was "dozing on the sofa''.

While inside, Wilson stole some clothing and other personal items, including an Amazon Echo audio device.

Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland described the offence as an "opportunistic burglary'' but said it was unclear if the items stolen were Christmas presents.

The judge said that although it was Wilson's first conviction for burglary, the defendant had a record for "acquisitive crimes'', including 19 for theft and one for handling stolen goods.

The court heard that Wilson was charged at Musgrave PSNI station in Belfast this week with several theft offences.

One of the crimes related to the alleged theft of clothing from the Next store at Boucher Crescent in south Belfast in October 2018, just days before he started a probation order for other offences.

Prosecution lawyer Kate McKay said that following the theft from Next, police searched Wilson's home and allegedly found the clothing "with the Next tags still on them''.

Judge McFarland said that despite a "positive probation report on Wilson, "in all the circumstances I am going to impose a custodial sentence''.

Giving the defendant a 30 per cent discount for a guilty plea, the Belfast Recorder sentenced Wilson to 16 months, with half to be spent in custody and remaining eight months on supervised licence.

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