Belfast Telegraph

Alleged burglar bitten by dog after being chased by man in just boxer shorts, High Court hears

By Alan Erwin

An alleged burglar was bitten by a police dog after being chased by a man wearing just boxer shorts, the High Court heard on Friday.

Gavin O'Halloran needed a tetanus injection for wounds inflicted to his arm following the nighttime pursuit in north Belfast, his lawyer said.

The 26-year-old, of Moyard Parade in the city, was arrested after being found hiding in bushes on July 25.

Refusing his application for bail, a judge stressed the need to protect householders in the area.

O'Halloran denies charges of attempted burglary and going equipped for burglary. He claims that he was only on the streets after being chased from a nearby party.

Prosecution counsel Kate McKay said a householder on Dunkeld Gardens was woken by banging noises coming from the patio.

When he looked out a window a man in the back garden fled towards the Oldpark Road.

Police called to the scene spotted a man matching the alleged would-be raider's description running down Cliftondene Park.

"He was being chased at that stage by another member of the public who was dressed only in boxer shorts," Mrs McKay said.

"That man was shouting 'catch him'."

According to the prosecutor a search involving a police dog led to O'Halloran being discovered in a nearby hedge.

Black gloves and a screwdriver were also found in the area, the court heard.

O'Halloran was said to be wearing two sets of clothing, and had to be taken to hospital due to his state of intoxication.

Disputing the evidence against his client, defence barrister John O'Connor countered that he was only in north Belfast to attend a party.

"An argument arose where he was chased by the occupants of the party, he escaped and hid in a bush," the lawyer said.

Mr O'Connor claimed the accused suffered injuries during attempts to restrain him using the police dog.

"In his words it attacked him, he had serious bite marks on his arm," he added.

"He was taken to hospital to receive a tetanus injection."

Denying bail, however, Mr Justice Maguire held that a prima facie case had been established.

He said: "The general public in the area is entitled to some relief from the risk of burglary."

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