It was a case of “who’s been sleeping in my bed” after an unwanted intruder fell asleep in a bed – completely naked – in a house in Armagh.
The shocked homeowner came back from her shopping trip and found 21-year-old Lee Heaney tucked up and fast asleep in her bedroom.
Appearing at Banbridge Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Newry, by videolink from police custody, Heaney was charged with burglary of the property on Mullaghcreevy Park in Armagh, on 15 December this year.
Giving evidence to the court on Thursday, a police constable outlined how police were called to a “possible burglary” the day beforehand and when officers got to the property, the female homeowner told them she had come home “to find a male sleeping, naked, in her bedroom under the blanket.”
“He was chased from the property and whilst he had been there he had helped himself to food and drink from the kitchen,” said the officer adding that Heaney, whose birthday falls on Leap Day in February, had gained entry through an unlocked back door.
“He did not have permission to go in,” said the officer who told the court Heaney was arrested near by.
During questioning, it transpired that rather than pretending to be in classic fairy tale Goldilocks or anything sinister, Heaney’s explanation was for more simple – he had “a few drinks in him” and thought the house belonged to his sister who lives nearby.
“I was drunk….I thought it was my sister’s house so I went to sleep and then that woman came in and woke me and I sprinted up and realised it was the wrong house,” Heaney told the interviewing officers.
Comparing the case to Goldilocks and the three bears, defence solicitor Patrick Higgins submitted the case amounted to Heaney “spending the night in the wrong house completely by mistake…..I don’t think this meets the standard for criminality.”
“The police case is that he has ate some food, Alphabites, a chicken burger and brown sauce,” said Mr Higgins, raising a smile with District Judge Eamon King who enquired “what, no porridge?”
Freeing Heaney on his own bail of £250 with conditions that he must reside at his home address on Mullaghcreevy Park and is not to be under the influence of alcohol in public, DJ King adjourned the case to January 11 next year.