Belfast man jailed for theft of disability van


A Belfast man who stole a van during an early morning creeper burglary has been handed a two-year sentence.

Thomas George Kincaid, from Silverstream Avenue, was told he will spend a year of his sentence in prison, with the remaining year spent on licence upon his release, after he admitted a series of offences arising from the break-in.

Belfast Crown Court heard that the 25-year-old father-of-one has ADHA, has 55 previous convictions and has in the past been subject to several paramilitary attacks.

Crown prosecutor Kate McKay said that around 4.45am on June 21 last year, police received a report of a vehicle “racing around” the area of Carrs Glen Park in the north of the city. When officers arrived in the area to investigate the report, they saw fresh tyre marks on the road.

They remained in the area and around half an hour later, they observed Kincaid who ran off but was soon detected in a nearby garden.

Kincaid was searched and on his person were two screwdrivers and various sets of keys. Also found was a PlayStation 3 controller and lead.

Kincaid was noted to smell of alcohol and became aggressive to police. Due to the presence of the screwdrivers, he was initially arrested for going equipped for theft, to which he replied “mate, I don’t know what you are talking about”.

While in the area, officers pressed the centre of the car keys found in the defendant’s pocket, which activated the lights of a Renault disability transport van.

Police noted damage to the van, and when inquiries were made about the van’s owner, it emerged that the vehicle had been stolen in a creeper burglary earlier that morning – along with the PS3 equipment.

Kincaid was arrested and made ‘no comment’ interviews.

Ms McKay said that at the time of his arrest, he had breached a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) – which was imposed for a serious sexual offence committed against a 14-year-old girl – as he had consumed alcohol.

Kincaid subsquently pleaded guilty to four offences – breaching the SOPO, burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and going equipped for theft.

Defence barrister Denis Boyd spoke of his client’s difficult childhood which included being diagnosed with ADHA, attending special schools and living a “transient lifestyle” in his youth.

Regarding the offence, Mr Boyd said it was Kincaid’s case that he had been at a bonfire, had been drinking and “didn’t really remember anything about what happened prior to his arrest”.