A 28-YEAR-OLD man who received a six-month jail term after breaking into an Enniskillen electronics firm and stealing specialist equipment has launched an appeal against his sentence.

Ovidiu Toderas, a Romanian national with an address in Churchill, County Wicklow, pleaded guilty to breaking into Elite Electronics, at Lackaboy Industrial Estate, and stealing the equipment, worth between £500 and £1,000, and also going equipped for burglary with bolt cutters on January 27, 2018.

The defendant was sentenced to six months in jail when he appeared before Fermanagh Magistrates Court, but was soon after granted his own bail of £500 to appeal.

However, district judge Nigel Broderick refused to release Toderas from custody pending the appeal, due to the risk of flight.

The court heard that, at 3.25am on January 27, police received a call advising that there were two men wearing balaclavas on-site at the Lackaboy Industrial Estate.

The caller believed that they were in possession of an “iron bar”, the court heard.

A short time later, police arrived at the estate and observed a large white van travelling from the direction of Elite Electronics.

They signalled for the van, which had a Dublin registration plate, to stop.

When it came to a stop, two males were seen exiting the van and making off on foot away from the industrial estate.

This defendant was eventually apprehended crouched down behind a large bin.

The other male has not been located, the court heard.

Police subsequently searched the van and uncovered orange gloves, a crow bar, bolt cutters, an invoice for a hardware store and a metal box containing the specialist equipment stolen from Elite Electronics.

A roller door leading to the main factory at the premises had been damaged, along with an internal door on the first floor leading to the canteen.

When the defendant was interviewed, he made a full admission to the offence.

Toderas, who worked at a car wash in Dublin, told the officers that he travelled up north in a van driven by a friend to deliver furniture.

After this furniture had been delivered, they stopped near Elite Electronics and had something to eat for around 20 minutes.

The defendant alleged that his friend had said to him: “Let’s go and see what’s about.”

He admitted carrying the bolt cutters into the yard for his friend.

Toderas further claimed that, once they had gained entry to the premises, his friend told him to take the box, which he did.

He alleged that he did not know what was in the box or what it was for.

When he was shown CCTV footage of the incident, the defendant identified both himself and the other male.

Defending solicitor, Gary Black, told the court that his client had provided police with a “detailed account” and made a full and frank admission.

The solicitor claimed that the defendant’s first knowledge of his friend’s intended actions came when they had arrived at the industrial estate.

However, Mr. Black added: “He fully accepts he had the opportunity to walk away, however foolishly chose to go along with the enterprise.”

Although the defendant had a clear record in this jurisdiction, the court heard he had previous convictions in both Romania and the Republic of Ireland.

District judge, Nigel Broderick, observed that the case appeared to have all the hallmarks of a “sophisticated” burglary.

He described the incident as a “targeted burglary”, given the high value of the item taken.

While giving some credit for the defendant’s guilty pleas, Mr. Broderick told the court it would be somewhat limited as he was caught “virtually red-handed”.

The judge imposed a six-month jail term and ordered Toderas to pay a £25 offender levy.

Mr. Broderick later ordered him to be produced at Omagh Magistrates Court on February 12 for his appeal.