A 24-year-old man who caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to his council property in an attempt to make money to feed his drug habit received just £30, Fermanagh court has heard.
Gary Russell Edward McMullan went on a drug-fuelled rampage in his home in Cleenish Park in Enniskillen in which he ripped up floor boards and copper piping. However, McMullan, who now lives in Rochester Court in Coleraine, made a small amount from the incident.
He was handed a probation order and told to pay £1,672.67 of restitution after he pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and one count of criminal damage at Enniskillen Magistrates Court.
A prosecutor explained to the court that on February 14, this year, police officers were called to an address in Cleenish Park in Enniskillen where they spoke to a Northern Ireland Housing Executive officer.
He told officers that he discovered the damage caused to the house when he called at 11am that morning and had been let in to the property by the defendant.
The Housing Executive officer had conducted an inspection of the house when he found the substantial damage including the removal of an electrical fire, copper cylinder and copper wiring, the skirting had been ripped out and the floor boards had been lifted.
The defendant told the officer that he was leaving the address and was terminating his contract.
The officer left the building and returned a short time later at noon after making some enquiries.
It was then discovered that copper piping had been removed and that the defendant was no longer at the address.
On May 7, McMullan was arrested for criminal damage and was interviewed regarding the offences but said no comment. He was subsequently charged with the offences.
The court heard that that cost of damage to the piping was £681.60, and the cost of the electrical fire was £538.80 and the invoice of the criminal damage amounted to £452.29 as well as an additional cost of £1,220.
In total, McMullan caused £1,672.69 worth of damage to the property.
A defence solicitor for McMullan told the court that it was all down his drug addiction.
“It was a considerable amount of damage caused and he is very foolish as he got such a small amount of money in return,” she added.
“You are very aware of his offending background. He became out of control and got back into his addiction to cannabis.
“He does have anger issues coming off cannabis and was under extreme stress at the time. This was all to feed his drug addiction.”
District Judge Nigel Broderick told McMullan that he had every good reason to send him to prison.
“But one must reflect on the current circumstances,” he continued.
“Your solicitor says you have a positive probation report and remarkably you have been able to find employment. The author of the pre-sentence report says your are making efforts to deal with your drug addiction.”
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