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Newforge Grange house raid accused 'has no memory of how electronic tag went missing'

Published 10/10/2016

Ruairi Padraig Walls denies charges of robbery, burglary, threats to destroy property and threats to kill, assault, demanding cash with menaces, and using force or threats to get an alleged victim to withdraw his statement (File photo, picture posed)
Ruairi Padraig Walls denies charges of robbery, burglary, threats to destroy property and threats to kill, assault, demanding cash with menaces, and using force or threats to get an alleged victim to withdraw his statement (File photo, picture posed)

A man bailed on charges of ransacking a south Belfast home and threatening to burn it down with teenage victims inside woke up in hospital to discover his electronic tag missing, a court heard today.

Ruairi Padraig Walls was beaten up and left with no memory of how he lost the monitoring device just days after getting out of custody, his lawyer said.

The 26-year-old was refused renewed bail for the alleged breach of his original release conditions.

Walls, of Donegall Street in the city, is accused of involvement in a raid on the house at Newforge Grange where two intruders stole £1,200 worth of designer jewellery and clothes.

He denies charges of robbery, burglary, threats to destroy property and threats to kill, assault, demanding cash with menaces, and using force or threats to get an alleged victim to withdraw his statement.

A previous court heard an 18-year-old man was grabbed by the neck outside the property before the robbers went inside and systematically trawled through the rooms on August 15.

Police claimed threats were made that he would be shot and his house would be burnt down with his family in it.

The incident was said to have had a traumatic impact on the teenager and a 16-year-old girl who was also present.

Most of the stolen items were said to have been found after searches at a house linked to another suspect.

Walls was granted High Court bail last week on conditions that included a night-time curfew and electronic tagging.

But he was returned to custody after the monitoring company discovered the device had been removed.

As Walls appeared again at Belfast Magistrates' Court with a badly bruised face, a judge was told he had been beaten up last Friday night.

Barrister Luke Curran said: "When he woke up in hospital the tag was no longer fitted to his leg.

"He has no recollection of how he got to hospital."

The court heard none staples have been fitted to the back of his head.

But denying the application to be readmitted to bail, District Judge Peter King ruled: "There is a risk of re-offending and a significant risk of failure to abide by conditions."

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