Northern Ireland news

Crimes in three counties drop by a third after Newry father and son jailed

The father and son were jailed at Newry Crown Court yesterday

POLICE last night said crimes against vulnerable members of the community had fallen by 30 per cent after a father and son from Newry were put behind bars.

James Hanrahan (46) and John (28), both of Nursery Drive, were sentenced yesterday for a string of crimes between October 2017 and March 2018.

They targeted homes of elderly and vulnerable victims in counties Down, Armagh and Tyrone.

Newry Crown Court heard the pair broke into and ransacked multiple properties and stole thousands of pounds worth goods and cash.

Elderly victims aged in their late 70s were among those targeted with the men using force and threats of violence. They used weapons to threaten their vicims, brandishing weapons including a hunting knife, 40cm screwdriver, iron bar and hammer.

John Hanrahan pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and three counts of common assault. He also admitted driving whilst disqualified, no insurance and dangerous driving and was jailed for five years.

His son pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary and common assault and received a four-year sentence.

In his sentencing remarks, judge Gordon Kerr QC said the pair had "engaged in a campaign of burglary, sometimes with others, that was serious and could have been more serious as weapons were used".

They will spend half their sentences in prison and other half on licence. They have both already served 15 months on remand.

Police last night welcomed the sentencing and said crimes against vulnerable people in the three counties had fallen by a third now that the two men were behind bars.

PSNI chief inspector Joe McMinn said: "This pair of individuals were among the biggest players within this type of crime.

"There has been a 30 per cent drop in this type of crime against vulnerable members of our community."

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