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Homeless man found living in shed and using house’s electricity

'He had taken an extension lead from a property to an outhouse and lived there for some time in fairly squalid conditions'

Craigavon Magistrates Court

A man who lived in a shed at the back of a Portadown house and used its electricity after finding himself homeless, has been released from custody.

Juriv Andrejev (42), with an address at Jervis Street, Portadown, appeared at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, via videolink from Maghaberry Prison.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary and dishonestly used electricity between March 1 and April 8 this year.

The court heard that police attended the address in relation to reports of a man living in a shed at the rear of the property.

On arrival, they observed an extension chord going from the window of the dining room into the shed.

The defendant was found there along with a number of electrical items including a TV and stereo system, valued at around £200.

An electrical heater was also plugged into the extension chord.

A defence solicitor said his client struggled with drug addiction, particularly heroin, and was homeless at this time.

“He had taken an extension lead from a property to an outhouse and lived there for some time in fairly squalid conditions,” he said.

“He is fully aware that unless he tackles his drug and alcohol issues, he is going to find himself back before the court.”

He said his client had been in custody since the offences and although he had been granted bail in May, was unable to perfect it as the only address available to him was in the Simon Community Hostel where no beds were available.

Defence added that the defendant had the offer of accommodation with a friend for a short time and was hopeful of getting back into some sort of employment.

Taking into account the length of time the defendant had been in custody, Deputy District Judge McCourt sentenced him to eight months in prison on each charge, effectively meaning he had served his time and could be released.

He also imposed a £25 offender levy.

The judge also noted the defendant had been on a suspended sentence since April 2021 at the time of the offence and re-suspended that for one year.

“That means if you break the law in the next 12 months you will have to serve four months in prison,” he told him.

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