'Was he visiting the sick? Was he going in to say the rosary?': Corkman found guilty of burgling African Missions centre

'Was he visiting the sick? Was he going in to say the rosary?': Corkman found guilty of burgling African Missions centre

The man  pleaded not guilty to the charge of burglary where it was alleged that he trespassed on the SMA property on July 23 2020 with intent to commit theft.

A jury was sworn in for the trial of a man accused of burgling the African Missions property on Blackrock Road in Cork on an afternoon last July and later stepping on the 202 bus into town.

Philip Murphy was arraigned at Cork Circuit Criminal Court where he pleaded not guilty to the charge of burglary where it was alleged that he trespassed on the SMA property on July 23 2020 with intent to commit theft.

Unanimous verdict 

The jury took only approximately half an hour to reach a unanimous verdict of guilty in the case.

Defence barrister, Niamh Stewart, said to the four women and eight men of the jury, “Even if you are satisfied that he did trespass it is not enough to say he must have been on the property to commit the arrestable offence of theft.” 

The defence barrister said that first they must be satisfied that the accused was on the property. 

Ms Stewart said that the defence did not accept that the man on the property for 37 minutes was the accused man, Philip Murphy. 

Furthermore, she said the jury had to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that if trespassing, he also had an intention to steal.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin asked the jury, “Was he visiting the sick? Was he going in to say the rosary? 

"Was he mooching around these rooms to see if he could get something?” 

Witnesses called

Prosecution barrister, Dermot Sheehan, called witnesses who were either resident in or working in the SMA.

It was alleged that at around 2pm on the day they saw a stranger, aged around 50, wearing a pants, jacket and peaked cap, and that they saw him at different stages on the grounds and entering and exiting buildings belonging to the African Missions.

It was further alleged by the prosecution that he stepped on to the 202 bus at a bus stop near the church.

Detective Garda Paul Radley presented CCTV which was harvested from the area on that afternoon almost a year ago.

The buildings which he allegedly entered were used as a care home for retired priests.

Sentencing of Murphy of 58 Killala Gardens, Knocknaheeny, Cork, was adjourned until September 3 at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

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