Man with more than 150 convictions jailed after breaking into Larne Grammar School

Man with more than 150 convictions jailed after breaking into Larne Grammar School

A MAN with more than 150 previous convictions has been jailed for four months after he broke into Larne Grammar School and stole £175 cash.

Simon Anthony McDonagh (38), of The Sullivan Buildings, Ross Mill Avenue in Belfast, admitted charges of burglary and causing criminal damage to a door at the school on Thursday December 3, 2020.

The defendant appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court via a video link from Maghaberry Prison where he already was a sentenced prisoner in connection with another matter with a release date of May this year.

A prosecutor said it cost £200 to repair a damaged door at the school.

She said police attended the school at 9.10am on December 3 in relation to the incident.

She said CCTV showed McDonagh in the school and he was spotted carrying a jacket with reflective stripes.

The prosecutor said when the matter was reported to police the McDonagh was already in custody in connection with similar alleged offences around the same time in the same area.

The defendant had around £700 cash on him and when interviewed he denied being in the school.

A defence barrister said the defendant had "significant mental health issues" and was currently serving a one year sentence imposed in Craigavon Court.

District Judge Nigel Broderick told McDonagh: "You have a very poor recrod, 159 previous convictions. To break into any school and cause damage and steal money is a very serious matter".

He jailed the defendant for four months and said it must be served consecutively with McDonagh's current sentence.

  • Main picture: Larne Grammar School. Picture: Google Street View.