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Car thieves headed to Northern Ireland nightclub in 92-year-old victim's stolen car, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Car thieves headed to a top Northern Ireland nightclub in a 92-year-old victim's stolen vehicle, the High Court heard on Monday.

The raiders also took a farmer's 4X4 during the same crime spree on the north Antrim coast, prosecutors said.

Details emerged as bail was granted to one of two men accused of carrying out last week's thefts.

Maurice Ayres, 22, of Lodge Road in Coleraine, is banned from entering parts of the Causeway area as part of his release conditions.

He faces charges of burglary, aggravated vehicle taking, and taking a motor vehicle without authority.

Crown lawyer Conor Maguire said a Peugeot 307 was stolen from outside the home of a 92-year-old man in Coleraine in the early hours of April 18.

"That car was driven around to Kelly's Nightclub in Portrush," the barrister said.

Amid sightings of the vehicle being driven suspiciously it was abandoned a short time later.

A Daihatsu Riviera was then stolen from a farmer living close to Dunluce Castle.

The 4X4 was spotted at a petrol station where the thieves had to refuel, the court heard.

According to Mr Maguire, Ayres was dropped off at his hostel accommodation at around 6am.

Police believe he was the passenger in both vehicles.

Describing the accused as a priority offender in his local area, the prosecutor contended that any risks could be reduced by moving him out of the Coleraine and Causeway areas.

Defence counsel agreed that hostel accommodation will be available at other locations.

Granting bail, Madam Justice McBride imposed an exclusion zone to be defined on a map.

She also banned Ayres from travelling in a private vehicle, and ordered him to abide by a nighttime curfew and electronic monitoring.

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