Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Dad fought off violent intruder with shoe, court told

A man fought off a burglar with his shoe after his son was hit over the head with a dumbbell in a case described as “outrageous” by a High Court judge.

The struggle broke out when two intruders broke into a family home on Stranmillis Road, Belfast, last Wednesday and demanded car keys, prosecutors said.

One of the suspects was eventually captured in the house while the other was arrested after crashing into an arriving police vehicle.

Paul Rice (24), of Monagh Drive, Belfast, faces charges of aggravated burglary with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possessing cannabis.

His co-accused, Barry Toner, of unknown age and with an address at Queen's Quarter Housing, University Street in the city, is charged with aggravated burglary with intent, driving while unfit, aggravated vehicle taking, causing damage to another vehicle, driving while disqualified and having no insurance. Both men were refused bail by a judge who described it as “an outrageous case”.

Ian Tannahill, prosecuting, said the victim was watching TV while his parents were asleep when he saw a hooded man looking in his window. In the hallway, he encountered a second man who poked and shoved him with a closed umbrella, it was alleged.

The victim was told he was being robbed and asked for the car keys, according to Mr Tannahill.

The judge hearing the application, Mr Justice Weir, said: “This is an outrageous case. I refuse bail as there is a well-grounded fear if released they would commit further offences.”

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