Licence to burgle?

11 September 2013

Joshua O'Gorman was part of a number of intruders that forced their way into the home of Andrew Ferrie and his wife Tracey, in the early hours of Sunday 2nd September 2012. One clear aggravating feature of this offence was the fact that O'Gorman was on licence at the time of the burglary from a previous custodial sentence.

Mr Ferrie was woken by the sound of a kitchen window being broken and confronted burglars with a legally held shot gun, shooting two of the intruders. O'Gorman 27 and a second intruder Daniel Mansell 33 were wounded and fled the scene near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. They were arrested on arrival at the local hospital seeking medical attention for their injuries.

Both Mr Ferrie and his wife were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm to the intruders, and they were held for nearly 3 days for questioning before being released on bail pending further enquiry. Later a decision was taken to take no further action against them, as the Crown Prosecution Service decided that they had been acting lawfully in defence of their property.

The prosecution told the Court that O'Gorman's girlfriend had received a telephone call on the night of the break in from a friend telling her to call an ambulance. "He said that her partner had been shot in the face and they were coming to her address. For some reason the ambulance did not arrive and the friend took her car keys and took the Defendant to hospital where he was arrested". The Court was told that O'Gorman had previous convictions for dishonesty, burglary and driving offences. At the time he broke in to the Ferrie's home, he was on licence having been released early from a 14 month prison sentence for dangerous driving.

Offenders can be released on licence after serving half of any custodial term longer than a year. They are the subject of supervision by the Probation Service and there are conditions which can be fixed as terms of that licence, which means that if the offender commits another offence or if they breach one of the specific terms of the licence, they can be recalled to prison.

O'Gorman appeared by way of video link before Loughborough Magistrates' Court last week and still bearing these scars from the shotgun wounds. He pleaded guilty to burglary and was remanded in custody once more pending sentence. 

O'Gorman and Mansell are due to be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on the 25th September 2012.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.