Man pleads guilty to church break-ins

DERRY Bishop's Street Court house

A 21-year-old man has admitted breaking into three Catholic churches and seven houses in Londonderry.

Bernard Cooke, from Lettershandoney Avenue, committed the 10 offences in the Waterside, Carnhill and Shantallow areas of the city during the last three months of 2012.

The offences were committed when Cooke was on bail for other offences.

Cooke broke into St Patrick's church, Pennyburn, St Mary's parochial house, Ardmore and St Brigid's church, Carnhill.

Cooke , who has 23 previous convictions, stole £200 from a Trócaire charity box in St Brigid's and a bottle of wine from St Mary's parochial house.

Londonderry Crown Court also heard that he also stole a variety of items including cash, laptops, jewellery and Christmas presents.

Cooke admitted the offences after he was recorded on CCTV stealing from St Brigid's church.

When he was arrested he asked the police to take the other burglaries into consideration.

Cooke is to be sentenced on Monday and was remanded in custody until then.