Belfast Telegraph

Teen in court over £6k burglary that left woman (98) in hospital

By Nevin Farrell

A 98-year-old woman was taken to hospital after a teenager allegedly entered her house in Antrim town and stole £6,000 from her handbag, a court has heard.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Saturday.

The teenager, who is from Antrim, denied all the charges against him.

A police officer objected to bail and said the victim, who lives alone, was taken to hospital after the incident at Illustrious Court in the town was reported to police at 1am on Friday.

The policeman said the woman was still in hospital on Saturday.

The youth faces seven charges: burglary with intent to steal; theft of a wallet from a man; two charges of interfering with vehicles; assaulting police; criminal damage to a police car, and attempted criminal damage to the window of a police vehicle.

In court, when asked if he understood the charges, he replied: "I didn't touch no cars."

The police officer said he believed he could connect the accused to the charges.

Objecting to bail, he said that at 12.10am on Friday police received a call that a male was "trying car doors" in the Ajax Court area of Antrim, and two cars were entered and a wallet taken from one.

A youth whose clothing matched the description was arrested at Ballymena Road in the town and became aggressive, assaulting police and headbutting a vehicle, and also spitting in the vehicle, the court heard.

The officer said while the youth was in custody at Antrim PSNI station a report came in that a 98-year-old woman who lives alone said a male pushed past her and had stolen three envelopes containing £6,000 in cash from her handbag.

During a search of the youth in custody, police found envelopes containing cash.

The officer said a person known to the youth told police the accused had told him he had gone to an old woman's house and "grabbed her by the throat", but then said he was only "pulling his leg".

The officer added the other person said the youth then claimed he had asked the woman for a glass of water, before he stole money.

The officer said during a police interview the accused said he was given the money by a man. The officer said that man denied giving him money.

The officer objected to bail saying there was a risk of reoffending, and that the youth had 17 previous convictions from April 2015, including six for burglary and three for theft.

The teen was remanded in custody until today, when the officer said he is due to appear at Antrim Youth Court charged in connection with another alleged burglary.

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