Belfast Telegraph

Burgled woman (98) had to be hospitalised after teen took £6,000

By Nevin Farrell

A 17-year-old charged with stealing £6,000 from a 98-year-old woman who was taken to hospital after the incident has accepted his guilt.

The defendant made the admission yesterday at Antrim Magistrates Court, where he appeared via videolink from Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre.

The teenager, who is from Antrim and cannot be named because of his age, initially appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Saturday, where it was said he was denying involvement in the distraction-type burglary.

At that hearing, a police officer objected to bail and said the 98-year-old victim, who lives alone, had been taken to hospital after the incident in the Illustrious Court area of the town, which was reported to the authorities at 1am on Friday.

The youth faces seven charges - burglary, theft of a wallet, two charges of interfering with vehicles, assaulting police, criminal damage to a police car and attempted criminal damage to the window of a police vehicle.

At Antrim Court yesterday, defence barrister Neil Moore said that while the defendant denied any involvement in the crime when arrested by the police, he now fully accepted his guilt and wanted to be reinterviewed by officers so he could make full admissions.

Mr Moore also revealed that over the weekend the teenager's family was "approached by a group of men" who made a number of threats. The lawyer went on to detail how the defendant's mother and father were told that they were "no longer welcome in the Antrim area", and that because of that an application has been made to have them rehomed.

Mr Moore added that the teenager had written a letter of apology to the 98-year-old victim of the crime.

However, District Judge Peter King told the court the move "cut little mustard".

The judge also asked about the condition of the victim, and a prosecutor said that as of Saturday she was still in hospital.

They were unable to confirm whether or not the woman had been released.

The case was adjourned until next Wednesday.

Belfast Telegraph

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