Ex-soldier who broke into Donegal home and changed locks told to pay landlord €100

A former soldier who broke into a home in County Donegal and changed the locks to squat in the house has been told to pay the landlord €100.

Erek Heffernan, 38, appeared in Letterkenny District Court following the incident at the Meadowbank Park home in Letterkenny last Saturday.

Garda Detective Michelle Kelly told the court she arrested Heffernan after the clash.

The court heard that Heffernan broke into the vacant house and changed the locks.

When Gardai arrived he refused to leave despite being an intruder.

A locksmith was called but Heffernan continued to refuse to leave and later resisted arrest before being arrested at 5:10 p.m.

The defendant’s solicitor, Mr Patsy Gallagher, said his client had been in the military but was “honourably discharged” on medical grounds.

He moved to Donegal to find solace and although he was at first in rented accommodation, his health had deteriorated.

Mr Gallagher said his time in police custody over the past two days had “leveled” him.

Judge Patricia Cronin heard that Heffernan had accommodation with her sister in Kildare.

Mr Gallagher said his client was seeking military treatment.

She adjourned the case until June 13 to allow time to pay €100 in compensation for damage to the house.

If this is not paid, Judge Cronin said she would impose a fine of €200 on the accused.

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