Lochside Garage

Elderly woman left ‘terrified’ in aggravated burglary

A COURT has heard details of how an 83-year-old Enniskillen woman was left ‘terrified’ when she was woken in her bedroom in the early hours of Monday (June 7) morning to a male shining a torch in her face.
The incident happened on Derrin Road around 1.30am and according to police, the intruder left when the pensioner shouted at him to “get out”. Omagh Magistrates Court was told he was armed with a knife which he left behind him at the scene.
Daniel Rogers (18) of Garden Mews, Cookstown, Co Tyrone appeared before the court by videolink from custody along with co-defendant Sasha Harkin (21) of Castletown Square, Fintona also in Co Tyrone.
They are charged with aggravated burglary with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a kitchen knife. They face further charges of stealing alcohol from the Spar Shop in Enniskillen to the value of £64.42 and interfering with a vehicle the previous evening (Sunday).
Harkin is also charged with possession of the Class B drug cannabis and Class C drug Xanax.
The court was told police received a report of the theft of alcohol from the Spar Shop around 9.45pm on Sunday night. The couple are alleged to have stolen two bottles of spirits and four tins of beer. Staff told police that Rogers was banned from the establishment.
Over an hour later a member of the public reported “suspicious” activity on Derrin Road as two people matching the description of the accused were observed trying to open the doors of a van and other cars on the street. Police officers spoke to Rogers and Harkin and told them to move on. Bottles of alcohol were seized from them.
Three hours later police received a report of the burglary at the home of the 83-year-old woman. The police officer said the pensioner woke to a torch being shined in her face and was “terrified”. The pensioner shouted, “get out” and the person described as “a man” exited with a female and left a knife behind. When police attended the scene, they heard voices behind a nearby property and located the defendants. The officers also retrieved a smashed money box, a tin box containing a large amount of jewellery, a large amount of £2 coins totalling £1,000, an engagement ring and knives.
In a bail application for Harkin, defence solicitor Michelle McVeigh said there was no evidence she entered the property. She also pointed out that her client had no previous criminal record and had answered all questions during police interview, during which she admitted taking the alcohol and having the drugs.
Ms McVeigh said, “She is a young lady who has suffered with mental health, alcohol and drug abuse issues. She has no criminal record albeit if she doesn’t discontinue her activities she will amass one quite quickly”.
Ms McVeigh also stated with the forensics involved, it could be “quite a distance” before the case come to court.
‘Very serious charges’
District Judge Mark McGarrity released Harkin on her own bail of £500 under strict conditions.
She was ordered to abide by a curfew between 8pm and 7am, wear an electric tag, refrain from alcohol and illegal drugs and sign three times a week at a police station. She was also told to stay out of Enniskillen and not contact her co-accused or any witnesses.
Describing the charges as “very serious”, Judge McGarrity warned Harkin she will likely go into custody until the case concludes if she breaches bail conditions.
Rogers who has a previous criminal record was remanded in custody.
They will appear back before the court on July 5.

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