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Teen threatened to stab his father and burn down house in row over drug habit, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 15/05/2015

Primary school teacher wins her appeal against being convicted of a classroom assault on an eight-year-old pupil.
Primary school teacher wins her appeal against being convicted of a classroom assault on an eight-year-old pupil.

A teenager threatened to stab his father and burn down their home as part of a row over his drug habit, the High Court heard today.

Daniel Cooper repeatedly kicked at the front door of the house on the outskirts of Belfast in an incident linked to him stealing family belongings, prosecutors claimed.

The 19-year-old, currently of no fixed address, was said to have admitted taking cocaine, Diazepam and cannabis.

He faces charges of threats to kill, criminal damage, threatening to damage property, and a common assault.

A judge refused his bail application after being told he is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to the offences.

Police were called out to the family home in the early hours of April 26.

Robin Steer, prosecuting, said: "He was shouting at his father, saying he was going to stab him and burn the house down."

The same threats were repeated in custody during and after interview, the court heard.

Mr Steer claimed the incident was linked to Daniel Cooper's drug problems.

"It appears to be that he is stealing items from his mother, including a television, to fund his habit," the barrister said.

Defence counsel Conn O'Neill described his client as "deeply crestfallen".

He said the offences were fuelled by alcohol and other substances, adding: "He (Cooper) is not too popular with members of vigilantes in the community."

But despite appeals for the accused to be released to help with a rehabilitation process, Mr Justice Deeny ordered him to remain in custody.

He said: "The idea (of granting bail) to a young man where there's a high risk of him re-offending and his sentencing is only a couple of weeks away is not a serious one."

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