Burglar found in teenage girl's bedroom jailed for string of offences in Cork

Warren McGrath pleaded guilty to assaulting four gardaí, threatening to kill two other men and carrying out several burglary-related offences in the Wilton area on the same night.
Burglar found in teenage girl's bedroom jailed for string of offences in Cork

Warren McGrath faces five-and-a-half years in prison. File picture: Cork Courts

A 17-year-old girl woke in the early hours to find a man in her bedroom and when her father confronted this intruder he produced a knife and threatened to use it.

Warren McGrath pleaded guilty to this and other burglaries today. Defence barrister Emmet Boyle said that the knife was produced by McGrath only as he tried to retreat from the garden of the property rather than at the outset of the crime. However, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said that was of little consolation to the family involved.

Looking at the dozen charges to which the 24-year-old pleaded guilty yesterday, the judge said this burglary was particularly serious.

“People confronted in their own house. Not alone did he draw a knife and make threats. The effect on the householder’s daughter and on himself of having their house burgled in this way would merit a sentence of six years on that alone,” the judge said.

Taking mitigating factors into consideration the judge imposed a jail term of four years. However, the suspension was revoked on an 18-month sentence for an unrelated offence and the four years was made consecutive to that.

That left McGrath facing a total jail term of five-and-a-half years at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Summary of offences

McGrath pleaded guilty to assaulting four gardaí, threatening to kill two other men and carrying out several burglary-related offences in the Wilton area on the same night.

McGrath of 13 Curraheen Lawn, Bishopstown, Cork, pleaded guilty to a total of 12 charges.

Detective Garda Denis Callanan said this included assaulting Sergeant Brendan Barry Murphy at Togher garda station, on November 14, 2019, as well as assaulting Detective Garda David Hickey, Garda Tim O’Leary and Garda Mark O’Donovan.

Judge Ó Donnabháin characterised these assaults as rough behaviour rather than major assaults on the officers.

He also admitted threatening to kill a man at The Rise, Bishopstown, on November 14, and threatening to kill another man at Halldene Gardens. Those threats were made to two men who tried to prevent the accused from stealing a car from the front drive of a house.

He also admitted burglaries and attempted burglaries on November 13/14 last year at Bishopstown addresses including Haldene Gardens, Halldene Way, Halldene Villas and Pampas Grove at The Rise.

McGrath had 15 previous convictions for assault and five for assault causing harm.

Mr Boyle BL said the offences were committed when the accused was in a haze of substance abuse.

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