Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Alleged Belfast thief gave police 'graphic details of sex in bush'

An alleged burglar discovered just yards from a stolen Mercedes car told police he was there taking part in a sex act, the High Court in Belfast has heard.

AN alleged burglar discovered just yards from a stolen Mercedes car told police he was there taking part in a sex act, the High Court has heard.

Anthony Richmond was found in bushes at Andersonstown, west Belfast, close to where the Mercedes stopped after its tyres were blown out in a police stinger operation, prosecutors said.

The car had been seized during a break-in at a house in Dunmurry in the early hours of January 27.

Minutes before that an attempt was made to steal a black taxi from outside another nearby property.

Richmond (24) of Dermott Hill Parade, west Belfast, is charged with two counts of |burglary and theft from a dwelling, and further charges of attempted theft of a vehicle and criminal damage.

It was also disclosed that he is due to be questioned in connection with a carjacking incident on January 16 where a woman was forced to hand over her vehicle.

Belfast has been hit by a wave of car crime recently.

Since January 3 a total of 16 carjackings and attempted carjackings in the Belfast area have been reported to the PSNI.

Eight arrests have been made, and three people charged.

Refusing Richmond’s application for bail, Mr Justice McLaughlin said it would be inappropriate to release him at this stage.

The court heard Richmond and a co-accused were arrested near the Mercedes.

A prosecution barrister said: “He said he was engaged in some kind of sexual activity in the bushes.

“He gave graphic details of what he was doing... involving somebody else.”

Later, Richmond claimed |during interviews to have been in the area to buy cigarettes.

His barrister told the court he denies involvement in the burglaries and car theft.

“The allegation about sexual activity in the bushes — he stated that was simply said in response to what the sergeant said at the scene,” the lawyer added.

But denying bail, the judge said being broken into was a “nightmare” for the public.

“The courts are not here just to punish people who do wrong,” Mr Justice McLaughlin added.

“They are here to protect people, to make sure they can lead lives free from the anxiety and stress of people coming into their houses in the middle of the night.”

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