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‘Goldilocks’ burglar remanded in custody as mum withdraws bail address

Previous courts heard how the furious pensioner chased Heaney from her home using a brush after she found him fast asleep in her bed

Sunday World

Armagh’s answer to Goldilocks was remanded into custody today after his mum withdrew his bail address.

Newry Magistrates Court heard that as a result, Lee Heaney has nowhere else to go apart from Maghaberry prison but defence solicitor Patrick Higgins said he would strive to obtain an alternative bail address over Christmas.

Heaney (22), was remanded into custody and his case adjourned to Newry Crown Court on 25 January when he faces doing a stretch of porridge for burglary of a pensioner’s home.

Heaney was due to go on trial two weeks ago when defence counsel Taylor Campbell asked for the single charge to be put to the 22-year-old again and he confessed to burglary of the pensioner victim’s home on 15 December last year.

Previous courts heard how the furious pensioner chased Heaney from her home using a brush after she found him fast asleep in her bed.

In a slightly distorted version of the classic fairytale Heaney let himself into the pensioner’s home on Mullaghcreevie Park in Armagh, while helping himself, not to porridge, to a chicken burger and alpha bites instead.

With his belly full, Heaney stripped off and got into a bed that was just right and promptly fell asleep.

However, instead of being faced by a family of angry bears, Heaney found himself confronted by an equally angry Mrs Kathleen Casey.

Giving evidence at Heaney’s first trial last October, she told prosecuting counsel Geraldine McCullough she had gone shopping but when she came back, she noted that all her blinds were closed and there was a lump under the duvet in her bed.

“I thought maybe the kids were there but when I pulled back the quilt, there was a big man’s hairy leg and I ran into the living room,” she told the court.

Having composed herself, she went back into the room and demanded to know “who the hell are you and what are you doing in my house?”

“He says ‘you wouldn’t deny a homeless person a bed’ and I says get the hell out of my house - I’m ringing the police,” testified Mrs Casey.

Describing how she was “shocked and shaking,” the witness said she repeated her demands for the unwanted, snoozing intruder to get out.

The jury heard that when he wasn’t moving quick enough, Ms Casey, “didn’t want him lying back down again and the sweeping brush was outside so I took the brush and threatened him…and kept shouting get the eff out”.

With Heaney getting “slowly” dressed, Mrs Casey told the court “I kept going with the brush and he just took his time and kept looking back at me but finally, he did get up and out the gate and I closed it.”

“I was shaking,” she told the jury of six men and six women, “when I realised what I had done I was really scared and shaking.

“I didn’t realise I would react like that trying to get him out myself.”

When the pensioner went back inside, she realised the burnt smell was from Heaney cooking himself a snack of a chicken burger and alpha bites - “but he burnt the grill.”

“After I rang the police I noticed that he had cooked,” she added. “The plate was still in the sink and part of a burger and alpha bite letters, kids’ food. He had got them out of the freezer so he mustn’t have liked what was in the fridge but he had burnt the grill.”

“Anything else,” enquired Miss McCullough and Mrs Casey remembed: “Oh aye, a beautiful cake. Someone had just gave me it the night before and I hadn’t even cut it and he had a bite out of it.”

Cops were quickly on the scene and arrested Heaney nearby. He claimed during interviews that it was a case of mistaken identity in that having had a few drinks, he had mistaken the pensioner’s home for his sister’s house next door where he was living at the time.

Apologising for the distress he caused, he offered to pay for the food he ate.

Following Heaney’s 11th hour dock confession, Judge Gordon Kerr KC freed the burger burglar on bail and adjourned passing sentence until 25 January by which time a probation pre-sentence report will have been lodged with the court.

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