Belfast Telegraph

Killer held on Belfast robbery charges is denied bail

By John Cassidy

A convicted killer awaiting trial on robbery charges has been refused bail after a judge said he had "substantial concerns'' about him re-offending.

Stephen McAree (45), of Thorndale Avenue, north Belfast, is awaiting trial on two counts of robbing two men of their wallets last September and October.

In October 2008, McAree was sentenced to seven years in prison after killing a man he had robbed in the street.

McAree had pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter and of robbing James Connor in Wilson's Court, off High Street, in April 2006.

Appearing at Belfast Crown Court, McAree applied to be released on bail pending his latest trial on October 9.

Prosecutor Peter Magill said the Crown objected to bail on the grounds that "there was a real fear'' McAree would commit further offences and would also not turn up for his trial.

Refusing the defendant bail, Belfast Recorder judge David McFarland said that McAree had a "substantial criminal record'', with 74 previous convictions including assault, robbery and manslaughter.

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