Family barricaded themselves against intruder in own home

Enniskillen Courthouse

Enniskillen Courthouse

AN ENNISKILLEN man who forced a family into barricading themselves in their own home with a washing machine has been released on bail after he appealed a four-month prison sentence.

20-year-old Gareth Parker of Abbey Drive appeared before Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday to face a charge of criminal damage.


The court was told that on February 11 of this year police were called to a property following a report of a disturbance.

When police officers called to the home it was Parker who answered the door to let them in.

However, the owner of the house had closed an inside door to prevent the accused to gain entry but the defendant had kicked the door to attempt to get inside.

The family who were in fear of the accused had to push a washing machine against the door to prevent Parker from getting in.

The accused is currently on a suspended sentence for an offence that occurred in October 2011.

Defence solicitor described his previous offence as minor.

He said: “It is important to draw a distinction between the two offences, the suspended sentence he received was for a no insurance offence.


“As for the criminal damage goes it’s the lowest end of the scale as there was no substantial damage caused.”

However it emerged that it was the accused’s third no insurance offence.

Deputy District Judge Nigel Broderick said the owner of the house was in fear of Parker: “These people were in their home and he tried to get inside and kicked at the door. The family had to put a washing machine against the door.

“They had to barricade themselves in the house because they were in fear of what he was going to do.

“Why should I give him another chance if his missed another probation appointment and he is unable to give a reasonable excuse as to why he missed it.”

The defence solicitor said he believed that Parker was worthy of another chance. He said: “He admits to what he did and understands the significance of the impact it can have on the suspended sentence.

“He think he is worthy of another chance and he had proved he can make a difference if he is given another chance.”

Judge Broderick responded: “You (Parker) have been given a chance before and I see no reason of another adjournment.

“They were in fear of you and when you did get into the house they had to barricade themselves. That simply is unacceptable behaviour and you have crossed the threshold of the custodial sentence.”

Judge Broderick handed down a sentence of four months and ordered the defendant to pay fines totalling £25.

Parker was released on his own bail of £500 pending an appeal on his sentence.

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