A man was caught hiding in a wardrobe after two houses were broken into in Letterkenny.

Matthew Lafferty, 19, admitted trespassing at two houses including 13 Ard Lohan and another at Wolfetone Place on Thursday night last, February 3rd.

The court heard how Lafferty, of 35 Fairgreen, Letterkenny was found upstairs in a house after the owner returned home.

The woman fled the house and called the Gardai.

Lafferty and another man, later identified as Kevin Carmichael, were spotted causing criminal damage to a Ford Fiesta motorcar.

Following Garda enquiries Lafferty was found hiding in a wardrobe at 19 Ard Lohan.

A quantity of property which was stolen during the two robberies including a laptop computer, portable DVD players, a Samsung television and some jewelry.

Solicitor for Lafferty, Patsy Gallagher, said his client was either very high or very low and admitted he was addicted to both alcohol and also cannabis and methadone.

He said Lafferty had been in custody since he was arrested last Friday and had not eaten since.

“He is in a very dark place and needs help. I also fully understand that the community needs to be protected,” he said.

Garda Inspector Kevin Gately said he was fearful that Lafferty would offend again if he became high by taking drugs or drinking alcohol again.

Judge Paul Kelly said he was fearful Lafferty would offend again as he had in the past.

However he said he was prepared to give him one chance and put the case back until next Monday, February 13th for a Probation report.

He put a number of conditions on his release including he sign on twice daily at Letterkenny Garda station, that he does not drink, that he resides at his parents home at Fairgreen and that he follow a nighttime curfew of not being on the streets between 7.30pm and 8am.

The other man before the court Kevin Carmichael, was also charged with trespassing and causing criminal damage.

Judge Paul Kelly heard Carmichael had a number of previous convictions and was also addicted to alcohol and drugs.

Carmichael also pleaded guilty to trespassing and causing criminal damage.

Judge Kelly found Carmichael guilty of causing criminal damage and sentenced him to six months in prison and suspended the sentence for one year.

He also remanded Carmichael until April 3rd on the theft charge and ordered him to complete 80 hours community service in lieu of four months in prison.

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