Burglars: ‘We were checking on owner’

Two men who were convicted of breaking into a flat over a post office claimed that they were motivated by concern for the owner whom they feared was dead.

Detective Garda Pat Barry said the front door of the property had been forced in and the inside door upstairs had also been kicked in and the apartment completely ransacked.

David Butt, aged 27, of 6 Avonmore Park, Mayfield, Cork, and Cian Walsh, aged 25, of 17 Mercier Park, Turner’s Cross, Cork, both denied the charge of burgling the premises over the post office on Inniscarra Road, Fairhill, Cork, on Feb 27 last.

When they were approached by the postmaster who heard noise they told him they were worried about the owner of the flat because they hadn’t seen him for days and they were worried he might be dead.

Postmaster Tom Hourigan told Butt and Walsh he had seen the owner in recent days and that he was fine. He also told them he would be notifying the gardaí of the break-in.

Mr Hourigan said they walked towards him into the post office premises but fled when they saw CCTV cameras.

In Cork District Court the two accused admitted forcing open the door on to the street and going upstairs but claimed they left without going into the apartment.

They denied forcing open that second door or ransacking the premises.

Judge Olann Kelleher convicted both men of burglary.

He imposed six-month jail sentences on each of them but suspended the sentences on condition that they would keep the peace for the next two years.

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