Public detained man who raided sheds and outbuildings

A father of three detained by members of the public after breaking into sheds and commercial premises in and around the Shankill area of Belfast has been jailed for two years.

Colin Rockett left some of the items he stole in an alleyway, where owners were able to come and retrieve their property.

Rockett, who is from the area and whose address was given as ‘no fixed abode’, was also banned from driving for four years after it emerged he had been driving a transit van on the day in question, despite being disqualified.

Prosecuting barrister Mark Farrell said Rockett pleaded guilty to 12 offences committed on April 3 last year, including four burglaries, theft, going equipped to steal and possessing an offensive weapon.

Mr Farrell told Belfast Crown Court a number of sheds and outbuildings at properties between the Shankill Road and Crumlin Road were targeted, and items stolen.

Police were told Rockett was named as a suspect in thefts from Edenderry Industrial Estate, and was then detained by members of the public at McCandless Street after items were found in an alleyway.

He later admitted to a series of offences arising from what the judge described as “an escapade”.

Judge David McFarland noted that all the items were recovered, and handed Rockett a two-year sentence which will be divided between a year in custody and a year on licence.