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Man who broke into Ulster Youth Orchestra offices is jailed for a year

Laganside Court in Belfast

A NORTH Belfast man with more than 200 convictions has been jailed for a year for breaking into the offices of the Ulster Youth Orchestra.

Gerard Magee (35), of Parkend Street, plead guilty to a single charge of burglary with intent to steal.

Belfast Crown Court heard that a city centre multi-store office building at 109-113 in Royal Avenue was broken into on November 30, 2015.

Prosecutor Stephen McCourt said that Magee's blood was found a broken window pane which had smashed to gain entry to the premises and it was matched to his DNA.

The court heard that Magee had an extensive criminal record totalling 201 convictions, including 52 for theft, six of robbery and six for burglary.

A lawyer for Magee said he had a history of "addiction issues'' and said those difficulties led to him "free falling throught life."

He added that there had been a number of incidents of self harming by Magee and there had been "deliberate attempts to take his own life''.

Judge McFarland said it appeared the burglary at the premises of the Ulster Youth Orchestra was "inquisitive rather than a musical crime''.

The judge told the court that the aggravating factor in the case was Magee's criminal record with the majority of convictions for dishonesty offences.

The Belfast Recorder handed Magee a two year sentence with half to be spent behind bars and the remainder on supervised licence.

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