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Children’s author refused bail after breaking into city bar

A children's novelist was found asleep inside a Belfast bar after allegedly breaking into it for the second time in a week, the High Court heard yesterday.

Jason Thompson (35), was discovered wearing a pair of pink gloves when the owner of White’s Tavern in the city centre arrived to open up last month, prosecutors said.

Opposing his bail application, Crown lawyer Sheena Mahaffey said the proprietor had spotted a wheelie bin propped against the front of the Winecellar Entry premises and a first floor window smashed.

The court was told the owner entered and found Thompson, of Ravenhill Road, Belfast, sleeping in a hallway area.

Mrs Mahaffey said inquiries revealed a similar method had been used during a raid on the bar five days earlier when three bottles of vodka were stolen.

Thompson faces two charges of burglary — one with intent to steal and the other involving the alleged theft of the spirits.

Security cameras had captured CCTV footage of the thief who carried out the first break-in, according to Ms Mahaffey.

Defence counsel John O’Connor said his client was “highly intelligent” and had “an IQ of above 150”.

“He has written a children’s novel,” said Mr O’Connor.

Refusing to relase Thompson, Mr Justice Deeny said: “It’s extremely sad that a man of intelligence and apparently literary talent should find himself in this position.”

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