A FERMOY woman woke in the middle of the night to see a man crawling around on the floor of her bedroom.
Garda Brian McCabe said the woman screamed and got out of bed but could not see where the intruder had gone. She noticed that the front door of the house was open.
The woman, and her 84-year-old father who then woke up in his room, both checked their bedrooms and discovered that certain property had been stolen.
Thomas O’Neill, 29, of no fixed address and originally from Tipperary, was later identified as the culprit and he appeared at Cork Circuit Criminal Court by video link for sentencing.
Garda McCabe said that by O’Neill’s own admission he was a drug addict and admitted to gardaí he smoked heroin on a regular basis.
He has 23 previous convictions including possession of stolen property, theft, and assault causing serious harm Niamh Ó Donnabháin defence barrister said that as soon as the woman woke and let out a scream O’Neill left the house and there was no interaction or violence.
Ms Ó Donnabháin also referred to the fact that the father in the house said in a statement that the front door of the house had not been locked.
“This was an opportunist burglary,” she suggested and Garda McCabe agreed.
The defence barrister said no effort at concealment of stolen property had been made as some of the stolen property was found in wheelie bins and others were found in his house.
The defence barrister said the accused put items in the bin in the presence of gardaí.
She added that he had a great deal of tragedy in his life.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said he would adjourn sentence in this case until January 15.
“I will remand you in custody until then and the sentence can be backdated until then,” the judge said to the accused.