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Court

Pair jailed for burglary on elderly woman’s shop

A WOMAN has been sent to prison at her own request for taking part in a burglary involving a 78-year-old in Ederney.
Carly McMullan (25) of Bluebellhill Gardens, Derry, requested a custodial sentence at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday to show remorse for her part in the theft from Gallogley’s Mini Mart in Ederney on February 7, 2019. McMullan along with co-accused Owen McDonagh (28) of Bonds Hill, Derry were before the court for sentencing on a single charge of burglary.
The court heard that on the date in question the then 78-year-old woman was in the shop, which is attached to her home through a door to her kitchen, when McDonagh and McMullan came in. Believing they were acting suspiciously, she spoke with them and went outside to investigate a grey car she was also suspicious of, which the defendants denied knowing anything about.
When she went back into the shop and the defendants left, she realised a cash box containing approximately £500, a passport, bank and credit cards, business receipts, and letters, had been taken.
In a bid to track down the defendants and the car, the shop posted images from CCTV to social media, which the court was told were widely shared.
McMullan later presented herself to police for questioning. In her interview she said she and her then partner McDonagh, who is currently in custody on remand for allegedly assaulting her, had left Castlederg and stopped for a drink in Ederney. She claimed she did not know McDonagh had intended to carry out the theft.
Having heard the facts in the case District Judge Steven Keown said it had been a “disgraceful” incident. In response, defence barrister for McDonagh asked the judge for “patience” and to “take a bit of time” to consider McDonagh’s circumstances.
Mr McCann when on to explain at length to Judge Keown that the facts of the case “shouldn’t weigh too heavily in sentencing” as McDonagh was struggling with drug addiction and that was the reason for what he had done.
Barrister for McMullan, Sean Doherty agreed the incident had been “disgraceful” noted his client also had issues with drugs but did not want to use that as an excuse.
Mr Doherty said there were “different degrees of culpability” in the case, and said McMullan had not orchestrated the burglary. He said McMullan had been of previous good character, with only one previous conviction for having no insurance, and has not engaged in criminal behaviour since.
The barrister added McMullan had been very embarrassed when the photos of her were shared on social media, and she had handed herself into police when she realised they wanted to speak with her.
Mr Doherty said McMullan had given him “extraordinary instructions” to request a custodial sentence as she felt she deserved it, in what he said was “a remarkable show or remorse” that he had not seen before.
District Judge Steven Keown said it was McMullan’s right to not give her consent for a non custodial sentence, and sentenced her to four months in custody. Noting there was “a distinction between the two cases” he sentenced McDonagh to six months in custo

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