A 34-year old man who was recorded by a resident breaking into a house in Newtownabbey in broad daylight has spent 20 separate periods in custody in the last 15 years, a court heard yesterday.
Kevin Brady, from Marsden Terrace in Belfast, was handed a three and a half year sentence after targeting two homes last summer. He was in court on his 40th burglary charge
Brady, who came before Belfast Crown Court with 111 previous convictions, was informed by Judge Geoffrey Miller QC that he will serve 18 months in jail, followed by a two-year period on licence.
The court heard that as he tried to flee from police during arrest, Brady became involved in a “violent struggle” with an arresting officer, which resulted in both becoming tangled up in barbed wire.
Prosecutor Simon Jenkins said that on the afternoon of June 24 last year, police were called to the Serpentine Road by a resident who had recorded a man breaking into a house.
Mr Jenkins said officers at the scene saw Brady walking along the road carrying two white plastic bags. When Brady was apprehended, he dropped the bags and tried to flee, but ended up in a struggle with a police sergeant.
Brady was subsequently arrested and a number of items - including a laptop, PS4, three tablets and a necklace - which had been stolen during the break-in were recovered and later returned.
He later admitted four charges arising - breaking into a house on the Serpentine Road, attempting to burgle a second house, causing criminal damage to one of the properties, and resisting arrest.
During police interview, Brady said he owed money to people. Mr Jenkins told Judge Miller that last June, Brady was on Crown Court bail for similar offences.
Defence barrister Sean O’Hare said that since 2002, Brady has been the subject of 20 separate periods of custody.
Saying Brady had no qualifications and no work history, Mr O’Hare said last June’s incident was “opportunistic and ham-fisted”.
Branding Brady a “career burglar”, Judge Miller said it was clear that his motivation was financial, adding that Brady was “caught red-handed”.