Burglar ransacked house, and left bloodstains in every room

A Belfast man who caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a house he broke into and ransacked while bleeding heavily has been jailed.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 8:02 pm

Jay Ferguson Fitzsimmons, 34, was handed a two-and-a-half year sentence after he admitted five charges arising from the burglary of a house in the Bloomfield area of the city in August 2017.

Due to the extensive presence of blood in every room, and the damage caused to the property, the occupant was not able to return home for 10 weeks.

In addition, the cost of repairing the damage and replacing bloodstained furniture such as beds and sofas amounted to just over £17,000.

Fitzsimmons, from Antrim Road, admitted breaking into the house some time between the evening of August 26 and the following early morning. Police were called to the property at 3am on August 27 after a report was made of an open front door and blood visible within the property.

Entry was gained via a living room window, and as well as causing damage to the house, Fitzsimmons also stole a laptop and a holdall containing medical supplies.

Officers followed bloodstains leading away from the property, which led them to the stolen items located outside a neighbouring house and close to a Vauxhall.

This car had also been damaged – a tyre was slashed and all the panels were damaged – and present at this scene was more blood.

At 4.15am, police called at Fitzsimmons’ mother’s home and found him asleep on her sofa. Officers noted he was bleeding from a wrist wound, and when he was woken by police he became aggressive, abusive and violent.

Fitzsimmons resisted being arrested, lashed out at an officer and punched him in the jaw. Due to his state, he was taken to hospital by police, but refused treatment.

He was interviewed on August 27, and made no admissions – but said he had taken a significant number of tablets and had very little memory of what happened.

On August 31, Fitzsimmons went to Musgrave Street police station and handed in a phone which was later identified as the homeowner’s. He later pleaded guilty to five charges including burglary, criminal damage and assaulting police.

The 34-year-old appeared in court with 440 previous convictions on his criminal record.

Defence barrister Michael Boyd said his client had expressed remorse, and was “deeply ashamed and sorry” for his actions, which were committed “under a fog of intoxication”.

Sending Fitzsimmons to prison, Judge RoseAnn McCormick QC spoke of the “disorder” he caused and the “extensive clean-up” that was required by the occupant of the burgled home. This, she revealed, included recarpeting and refurnishing as “there was not one room not affected by blood”.