BURGLARY (Non-Dwelling)

Theft Act (NI) 1969

9. - (1) A person is guilty of burglary if-
                (a) he enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser and with intent to commit any such offence as is mentioned in subsection (2);
                (b) having entered any building or part of a building as a trespasser, he steals or attempts to steal anything in the building or that part of it…
       (2) The offences referred to in subsection (1)(a) are offences of stealing anything in the building or part of a building in question, … and of doing unlawful damage to the building or anything therein.

Maximum Sentence:

Theft Act (NI) 1969, s.7

Indictment: 14 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine or both

Magistrates’ Court (NI) Order 1981, Art.46(4)

Summary: 12 months imprisonment or a fine not exceeding the prescribed sum (£5,000) or both

Assessment of Offence
(Starting points and ranges based on 1st time offender convicted following contest)
Nature of Offence Starting Point Sentencing Range
Unoccupied premises Community Order Community Order to
6 months Custody
Occupied premises 4 months Custody Community Order to
12 months Custody

Examples of Possible Aggravating Factors of Offence Examples of Possible Mitigating Factor of Offence
  1. Ransacking/ vandalism of the premises
  2. Pre-meditation or professional planning
  3. Victim deliberately targeted (e.g. out of spite or due to vulnerability)
  4. Housebreaking implements carried
  5. Forced entry
  1. Offender played only a minor role in the burglary
  2. Offence committed on impulse

Relevant Cases:
NI Cases:
  1. R v Lendrum (6 August 1993)(Unreported)
  2. R v McGill (3 April 1998) (Unreported)
  3. R v Black [2003] NICA 51


  1. Indictable offence triable summarily with consent of the accused except burglary with intent to commit an indictable offence (Art.45 of, and Sch.2 to, the Magistrate’s Court (NI) Order 1981).
  2. The court may enquire into the factual circumstances of the offence and the personal circumstances of the accused before accepting jurisdiction.
Burglary (Non Dwelling)