Accused's bid to have drink ban lifted fails
A north Belfast man with 150-plus criminal convictions made an unsuccessful bid to have his bail conditions relaxed to allow him to drink over the festive period.
Brian Andrews, who turns 49 today, is accused of three offences linked to an aggravated burglary last December during which a couple were bound up and a hatchet was brandished by a three-man gang.
Andrews, from Cliftondene Crescent, has already spent time on remand and was released on bail last month.
During an application to vary the man's bail, held at Belfast Crown Court, a solicitor acting on behalf of the accused asked that two current bail conditions be relaxed.
One request was to extend his curfew time from 7am-7pm to 7am-11pm, while the other was to lift the existing alcohol ban as Andrews "would like to go out and socialise coming up to the Christmas period". The solicitor pointed out that since he was released from custody Andrews had abided by all bail conditions.
After listening to submissions from both the Crown and defence, Judge Kerr agreed to extend the curfew to 9pm, but said: "I will not remove the restriction on alcohol."