Court told of assault on woman (64) during raid
A 64-year-old woman just released from hospital was attacked after discovering burglars ransacking her west Belfast home, the High Court has heard.
She was grabbed by the throat, kneed in the stomach and pinned against a wall by one of the raiders, prosecutors said.
Daniel Doran denies charges of burglary with intent to steal, criminal damage and aggravated assault over the break-in at Springfield Park.
The 22-year-old student, of Divismore Park, Belfast, was yesterday refused bail after a judge described the alleged crimes as being “as low as one can get”.
Mr Justice Treacy said: “People who prima facie involve themselves in offences of this kind... are in fact a scourge on the communities within which they live.
“They strike fear when they behave as this young man is alleged to have done and distressed, no doubt, the lady concerned.
“Somebody who is prepared to break into someone else's house and assault a woman in her 60s... I'm afraid has crossed the line.”
The raid was carried out on the victim's house in the early hours of September 18.
She had just returned home from hospital treatment and came downstairs to find Doran and another man going through her belongings, the court heard.
Crown Counsel Philip Henry claimed: “This applicant grabbed her by the throat, kneed her in the stomach and pinned her against the wall.”
The two men were then detained in the house by neighbours who came to the woman's aid, according to the prosecution.
While they were waiting for police, furniture was smashed up, including an urn, tables and antique clock, it was claimed.
Mr Henry alleged that Doran had cash and jewellery belonging to the victim, while his co-accused emptied his pockets before police arrived.
Doran denied involvement in the burglary, and claimed instead that he had been assaulted and then dragged into the house.
Bail was opposed, with Mr Henry expressing concerns for Doran's own safety if he was released to live with a relative close to the scene of the break-in.
Paul McAlinden, defending, urged the judge to grant bail so his client could return to his art and design course at Belfast Metropolitan College.
But, after describing the alleged offences as “despicable”, Mr Justice Treacy ruled that bail should be refused.
He added: “The court can have no confidence whatsoever if this applicant was released on bail he would comply with any conditions the court would impose.”