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Phobia makes me run from police, man claims

A man accused of stealing from his grandmother and punching a policewoman in the face claimed to have a condition which makes him want to run from officers, the High Court heard yesterday.

Connor Lennon is also alleged to have taken his brother's car without consent, carried out a house raid and lashed out at other police during a crime spree.

The 25-year-old, of Church View Way, Laurencetown, Craigavon, Co Armagh, faces a set of 20 charges including driving while disqualified, assault on police, theft, possessing cannabis, burglary, and taking and driving away.

He was refused bail after a judge ruled the risk in releasing him was too great.

Prosecutors said the first alleged incident happened on March 17 when he was stopped, then punched a female officer in the face and ran off.

Following his arrest a month later he denied the assault, the court heard.

A prosecution barrister said: “He claimed to have a condition which makes him want to run away from police.”

A series of other alleged offences over a three-day period in April were detailed, including the theft of his grandmother's debit card and using it to take £500.

It was claimed Lennon went to her home on the pretence of paying a visit before taking her card and PIN number from a handbag.

He later claimed she allowed him to take it because he had no money, but refused to tell police where the cash was, the court was told.

A day later Lennon ran from a Renault Megane which had been pursued by police in Banbridge, according to the prosecution.

Inquiries revealed the car belonged to his brother, with the keys allegedly taken without permission.

Lennon was arrested the next day after police chased a Honda car through a field in the town.

The court was told he tried to headbutt one officer and spat at another.

Seeking bail, defence counsel Michael Boyd acknowledged it was “a difficult application given the plethora of charges he faces”.

Refusing the application, Lord Justice Girvan said: “There is a real risk he would not turn up for trial.”

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