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Bail is denied for alleged raider 'with four aliases'

By Alan Erwin

Published 09/06/2015

An alleged burglar accused of 20 separate break-ins in a 72-hour crime spree has four different aliases, the High Court has heard
An alleged burglar accused of 20 separate break-ins in a 72-hour crime spree has four different aliases, the High Court has heard

An alleged burglar accused of 20 separate break-ins in a 72-hour crime spree has four different aliases, the High Court has heard.

John Connors was part of a two-man team who ransacked homes, commercial premises and a youth club in Co Down, prosecutors said. Four elderly women were said to be among those targeted.

Connors, from Laire in Kilcock, Co Kildare, was arrested with his co-accused, in Rostrevor on January 23, after police stopped a 4x4 vehicle towing a caravan allegedly taken from one property.

The 35-year-old farm labourer faces a total of 30 charges, including multiple counts of burglary, attempted theft, going equipped for theft and possession of an offensive weapon. He was refused bail due to concern of further offences being committed.

A previous court heard the charges against him relate to 20 different reports to police in the three days up to his arrest, including in Rostrevor, Annalong, Newcastle, Saintfield, Banbridge, Katesbridge and Ballynahinch.

Opposing Connors' latest bid to be released, prosecution counsel claimed: "The applicant has two aliases in England and two aliases in Northern Ireland."

She also argued that he has no ties to the jurisdiction.

Joe Brolly, defending, argued there is no evidence linking Connors to 26 of the offences. The barrister contended his client was a drunken passenger when the 4x4 was stopped by police.

"There's no DNA evidence, no fingerprint evidence of any kind, and no witness identifies him," Mr Brolly added.

Refusing bail, Mr Justice Weir said: "It seems to me there's a well-developed concern if admitted to bail he would commit further offences."

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