A Burglar Steals Nearly £3000 From Charity that once saved him from freezing to death when he was homeless.
The man that we are talking about has been identified as Stephen McAleese.
The 31-year-old burglar was handed 8 months of jail time after he was caught stealing thousands from Tidal, which is a small community organization in Toomebridge that provides amenities and services to those that are in need.
The charity assists in medical appointments, accommodation and those people that are trying to find a job.
The 31-year-old man said that the charity’s secretary was stealing money from him, however District Judge Nigel Broderick was not pleased with his actions.
The judge said that his allegations are outrageous during the hearing at Antrim Magistrates Court.
The court heard how the secretary took the burglar, who was once homeless, off a park bench on one February evening and helped him get his affairs in order.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said:
And then you make an outrageous allegation against her that she stole your money, totally unfounded and malicious. Armed with some knowledge of where there is some cash, you proceed to break in and steal £2,800 and she felt personally obliged to pay that money back out of her own pocket.
The burglar reportedly broke into Tidal’s office in December of 2020 and stole thousands.
The money that he stole was spent on purchasing crack cocaine.
The secretary on the other hand helped the man on a regular basis and even lent him money.
The arrangement continued until McAleese raised his own allegations against her.
Talking about the robbery, it was said that the man plotted his theft after clocking in an envelope full of cash in her office cupboard and when she returned to work, the secretary found out that the office had been broken into.
A hole was also found through the cupboard in order to grab the envelope.
The thing is, the case was over right away after McAleese injured himself while breaking in.
The burglar cut himself and left blood, which authorities used to track him down through DNA testing.
When the police arrested him and interviewed him about the missing money, he could not explain why his blood was found by the authorities in the office of the charity.
However, he did tell the officers about whether he looks like he has £2,800 with him considering that he was broke.
The man maintained his innocence until the day of his trial, but he ended up confessing and entering an 11th hour guilty plea to burglary.
Neil Moore, his lawyer, said that his client found it difficult to accept that he had committed the crime and was ashamed and disgusted.
The lawyer added:
It appeared that the entirety of the money went on crack cocaine; an awful waste of money but it shows you where his life was at the time.
McAleese was freed on £500 bail pending an appeal of the sentence.
What are your thoughts on McAleese carrying out the robbery? Let us know what your thoughts are by leaving a comment in the comments section below!