Burglar’s defiant courtroom rant

A PERSISTENT offender jailed for burgling an unoccupied property issued a defiant outburst in the seconds after he learnt his fate.

After magistrates in Wigan sentenced Dean Ahearne, 43, to four months behind bars, he told them: “I’m not bothered - not one bit. I don’t care, I just don’t care.”

Earlier, Jane Sharpe, prosecuting, told how Ahearne, of City Road, Kitt Green, Wigan, was spotted trespassing in the rear yard of a property on Major Street, Pemberton, at about 3pm on Monday, July 18 - just weeks after his release from prison.

The witness dialled 999 after noticing, seconds later, that the defendant had gained entry into the house.

He also called the owner of the property, who was in the process of refurbishing it after renting it out for the last eight years.

When police arrived, they caught Ahearne crouching down in the back garden and arrested him on suspicion of burglary.

The owner of the property, who arrived at the scene a short time later, found that all the furniture inside the house had been turned upside down and there were holes in the wall with water gushing through.

A section of copper piping was also reported missing from the property.

The owner estimated that £5,000 worth of damage had been caused and told police that his personal finances had been “set back by months” as a result.

In interview with the police, Ahearne said that he had simply been looking for somewhere to squat but that, upon gaining entry, he realised that the property was “unfit” to live in.

Martin Jones, defending Ahearne, admitted that his client’s lengthy record did “not make pleasant reading”.

But he reiterated to Magistrates that the defendant had not been charged with stealing any items from the property, merely burglary with intent to steal.

Mr Jones asked Justices to afford Ahearne credit for his early guilty plea and said his client needed help to resolve his drug issues - instead of another jail sentence.

But, jailing Ahearne for four months, magistrates said the offence was so serious that only prison could apply.