Northern Ireland

Blowtorch Derry burglar Ryan Harkin jailed for year

A man who used a blowtorch and screwdrivers to break into five houses in Londonderry last January has been jailed for 12 months.

Ryan Harkin, 19, from Northland Road, broke into or attempted to break into the houses at Ivy Mead in what a judge described as a spree of criminality.

Judge Piers Grant said the crimes were pre-planned, even though Harkin was under the influence of drink and drugs.

In one attempted raid, Harkin was disturbed by the 83-year-old homeowner.

The judge told Londonderry Crown court that people were entitled to feel safe in their own homes.

When he is released from jail, Harkin, who has 20 previous convictions, will be on licence for a further 12 months