Sex offender 'has nowhere to live'

Sex offender 'has nowhere to live'

A barrister has told the Magistrate's Court in Londonderry that his client has been unable to obtain hostel accommodation because of the nature of his criminal record which includes convictions for sex offences.

Eoghan Devlin made the comment on Thursday in the case of Martin Gregory Coll, 52, of no fixed abode.Coll, who is the subject of a Sexual Offender's Prevention Order because of his offending, was arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning after he'd broken into the Translink office at Foyle Street.He stole charity boxes belonging to the Foyle Hospice, White Oaks and the Friends of Kenya charities.Mr Devlin said Coll, who admitted the offences, had come to the "adverse attention of paramilitary style organisations because of his criminal record".He said since his recent release from prison, Coll had been unable to obtain an address because of his criminal record.A police officer said when he was arrested Coll had a considerable amount of coinage on him.He initially denied the offences but when he was shown CCTV footage of his offending, he then pleaded guilty.The officer said the footage also showed Coll urinating outside the Translink office.District Judge Barney McElholm said the case highlighted the need for a half-way accommodation system in Northern Ireland for released prisoners.He imposed a four month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered Coll to pay £20 in compensation to each of the three charities.


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