Belfast Telegraph

Newry chip shop raid accused 'started fire'

By Alan Erwin

Chip shop burglars allegedly started a fire on the premises in a bid to cover their tracks, the High Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutors claimed the blaze located close to a gas pipe could have sparked a major incident.

Details emerged as one of the men accused of breaking into the food outlet in Newry on June 30 was refused bail.

Adrian Feenan (40), of Orior Park in Bessbrook, faces charges of aggravated burglary and theft, arson endangering life and possession of a claw hammer with intent to damage property. He is further accused of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.

The court heard he is alleged to have broken into the premises on Dominic Street with another man.

An empty cash register taken from upstairs rooms was dropped before the intruders fled, it was claimed. Stephanie Boyd, prosecuting, said a fire was then discovered near to a gas pipe.

"Thankfully it (the pipe) wasn't set alight. There would have been a serious incident had it, given the area," she told the court.

Refusing bail, Mr Justice Weir said: "The serious aspect of this case is the lighting of a fire and the fact that, whoever did that, it appears to have been lit in proximity to a gas pipe. If that had caught light there would have been very serious consequences."

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