Belfast Telegraph

Drunken thieves stole car from Belfast barber after asking for haircuts, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Drunken thieves stole a car from a barber after asking for haircuts, the High Court has heard.

They seized the keys to the Citroen C5 from a coat pocket inside the Stewartstown Road premises and then drove off before its owner realised, prosecutors said.

Later, the vehicle was allegedly driven at police during a pursuit where a stinger device had to be used to bring it to a halt.

Details emerged as bail was denied to a man accused of a catalogue of offences connected to the mid-afternoon theft on January 28.

Daniel Cochrane, 23, of Sunnyhill Park, Dunmurry, faces a total of 14 charges including: burglary, aggravated vehicle taking causing damage and injury, driving while unfit, failing to stop at an accident and assault on police.

Prosecuting counsel said two men who appeared drunk went into the barbers and enquired about getting their hair cut.

After they left the car owner discovered her keys were missing. She went outside and the vehicle was gone.

Police spotted the car on the Upper Springfield Road and pursued it onto the Glen Road.

At one stage it was reversed at officers before the stinger was deployed, the court heard.

Cochrane was detained at the scene, allegedly struggling violently with officers.

His barrister argued that the accused has no record for car crime.

Denis Boyd said: "He's not a prolific joyrider or someone who would give the court concern in relation to this type of offending."

But refusing bail, Mr Justice O'Hara said previous attempts to help Cochrane did not appear to have worked.

The judge said: "Whatever was done at that time he still (allegedly) ended up with drink on him early on a Tuesday afternoon going off joyriding."

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