Derry man given four year sentence for aggravated burglary and arson

A 26-year-old Derry man who subjected a woman to what a judge described as 'a terrifying experience' was jailed today at the local Crown Court.

Jospeh Patrick McDermott of 54, Rosskeen in Derry admitted six charges including aggravated burglary and arson on July 1st last year.

The court was told that a young woman was asleep in the bedroom of her flat and awoke to find McDermott there carrying a knife.

When the woman woke, the court was told Mc Dermott asked for an individual by name and told the woman he would 'cut her to pieces' if she had anything to do with this person.

He then threw a dress to her and told her to get dressed.

The woman noticed the smell of smoke, then realised and noticed that McDermott had set fire to clothes on a chair and on a clothes horse.

The defendant was confronted by a neighbour and another man, both of whom he threatened with a knife.

Judge Piers grant said that it was 'a terrifying experience' for the woman and was aggravated by the fact that McDermott set fire to the flat.

The judge said McDermott had 'an appalling record' of 52 offences in the last ten years, and he was satisfied McDermott posed a risk of serious harm to the general public.

McDermott was sentenced to 4 years in prison of which he must serve a minimum of two in custody and had en extended licence period of two years added on.