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Man who terrorised elderly couple during Portadown burglary spree jailed

Police cell

A burglar who left an elderly couple “terrorised” in their upstairs bedroom while he and an accomplice rummaged downstairs and stole their car was handed a two year sentence.

Craigavon Crown Court heard that 29-year-old Ryan Robert Anderson and an unknown accomplice went on a burglary spree in the early hours of January 8 last year, breaking their way into four separate properties in Portadown within a few hours.

The first incident was an attempted break in at a house on Bachelors Walk but their pair were disturbed an “ran off” and a short time later, they stole two bicycles from a garage on the Killycomain Road.

During a burglary of a flat on Windsor Avenue, Anderson and his mate stole perfume, clothing, a phone and charger but the most serious offence, and the one which led to Anderson’s arrest, was at the home of an elderly couple on Margretta Park.

Just after 3.15am, the couple “heard banging downstairs” but they remained in an upstairs room, on the phone with the police and heard their Audi A3 car being driven away.

He was snared when cops recovered the stolen car and a scarf discarded on the passenger seat, when forensically examined, was found to have Anderson’s DNA profile.

Anderson, originally from Portadown but now with an address at Mervue Street in Belfast, denied the offences during police interviews but later entered guilty pleas to three counts of burglary, one of attempted burglary and one of car theft.

Jailing Anderson, Judge Patrick Lynch QC revealed the lady had been left “particularly distressed” about the incident but as the judge highlighted, “that’s the consequence of burglaries at private homes, especially in the early hours” where home owners feel “terrorised” knowing what is happening, a featured which aggravated Anderson’s offences.

In addition to the prison sentence which Judge Lynch ordered to be served half in jail and half on licence, Anderson was handed an extra three months custody for breaching a previous probation order.

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