A BURGLAR who struck at a school and was caught nearby with a Holy Picture along with a crowbar, gloves and screwdrivers and “had everything apart from a bag marked ‘Swag’,” a judge told a court on Monday.
District Judge Peter King was speaking at Coleraine Magistrates Court where Gareth Steven Patrick Hyndman (42), formerly with an address in Portglenone but now living in Kilrea, was jailed for four months.
The defendant committed offences on August 23 this year at St Conor’s College in Kilrea.
He previously pleaded guilty to charges including the burglary of the school and taking a ‘Holy Picture’ and going equipped for burglary with a crowbar, mask, gloves and screwdrivers.
Hyndman also had cannabis in his possession when stopped by police in Kilrea in the early hours of August 23 and more of the Class B drug was found during a search of his home.
He had 186 previous convictions.
A prosecutor said police received a report at 5.40am on August 23 of an ongoing burglary at the school and they stopped the defendant at Bridge Street in Kilrea at 6am.
Hyndman tried to conceal his face from police. He was wearing dark clothing and had a black bin liner bag and a backpack.
A framed picture and a voice recorder was recovered and the defendant also had cannabis in a tin along with equipment for use in burglary.
Judge King said: “He had everything apart from a bag marked ‘Swag’.”
The defendant had told police he had “blacked out” on the day in question and that he kept the screwdrivers he was found with for “fixing his bike”.
Defence barrister Liam McStay said Hyndman, who appeared before the court via video link from prison, had been in custody “most of his adult life”.
He said Hyndman had moved to KIlrea but his “reputation” followed him and he was known to police and “might as we well put a mark on his forehead”.
Mr McStay said it was an “amateurish” burglary.
Judge King said he was at a loss about what to do with the defendant to stop the offending and said the record of 186 previous convictions stretched to 20 pages.
The judge said the Probation Service had little confidence inn Hyndman complying with any Order.
Jailing the defendant for four months, the judge said the defendant had “regrettably” turned his life into his a “rotating door” of custody and release.