In what has been described as a raucous courtroom, Moy mechanic Raymmie Keogh was sentenced to 6 months in Maghaberry after he was caught by police climbing through an open window of his own house with a bag of goods from his own living room.
Keogh, who had been drinking in a local establishment for 6 hours whilst celebrating his wife’s 50th birthday, maintains he was confused and drunk when he decided to burgle his own house after leaving the party earlier than his family.
Although Keogh’s legal team concentrated on the ludicrous nature of the accusation, the Omagh judge remained unconvinced and sentenced the Moy man because of his criminal intentions.
During his cross-examination, Keogh maintained:
“There’s not one man or woman in this building who hasn’t burgled or thought of burgling after a lock of pints,”
which was greeted with gasps and a determined denial with the shaking of heads from the judge and jury. Keogh explained further:
“When the taxi left me off at my place I was in no fit state to know it was my house and couldn’t even remember how I got there, even as the taxi sped off. So I saw that a window was left open, climbed in and lifted everything not nailed down in the living room, threw it into a Lidl bag and made off down the road again.”
Keogh was apprehended after he sobered up and returned home again only to find the police waiting with an identification, given to them by the taxi driver, matching his description. The driver also said he sang ‘A Nation Once Again’ throughout the journey, a signature tune in the mechanic’s repertoire. He admitted it probably was him after he vaguely recalled leaving a bag of goods outside the off-licence in the village.
In summing up, Judge Boyle said:
“I’ve never heard of a man burgling his own house. But the intention was there to do wrong. The fact that it’s his own home is neither here nor there,”
before slamming his hammer.
Mrs Keogh failed to bail out her husband. She has also claimed off her insurance for the missing goods despite the fact that the bag is still sitting outside the off-licence.
A burglar who has terrorised the greater Loughmacrory area has been nominated for the ‘Person Of The Year’ award in the Tyrone Herald, with local bookmakers making him favourite to lift the award.
Using his false name, Kenny Vernon admitted he was taken aback with the good wishes of his community despite pilfering £40’000 from various homes as well as jewellery, TVs and other expensive equipment over the last four years since he went bankrupt:
“This place is just brilliant. People are afraid to leave their homes when I’m about but they still recognise that deep down I’m alright. I think they appreciate that I never wear a balaclava or use weapons and stuff like that. I just stealthily sneak in and out with my swag. No damage. It’s good to know some people still appreciate manners.”
Patsy McEntee, who has been burgled six times in recent months, admitted he was the first to nominate ‘Kenny’, despite having no electrical equipment left in the house due to Vernon’s activities:
“If you were to be burgled by anyone, it would be Kenny. For example, last week he came in here during the night and stole my running machine. He phoned me the next day and asked me politely how it worked and was very complimentary about the quality of it. You wouldn’t get that in America. He said something threatening about sleeping with one eye open but sure we laughed our heads off.”
Vernon added that if he didn’t win the award he’d probably steal it anyway as well as the guest speaker’s car.
Meanwhile, Loughmacrory Community Watch said they’ll do a bus-top parade through the townland if he scoops first prize.