| 4.8°C Belfast

Burglary accused 'caused Belfast park shutdown' during police escape, court told


The accused's bail application was adjourned for a week

The accused's bail application was adjourned for a week

The accused's bail application was adjourned for a week

A man accused of a burglary where a stun gun was fired at a woman allegedly caused the shutdown of a Belfast park by escaping from police, a court has been told.

It was also claimed that Marian-Cristian Filip shone a laser pen into the eyes of a PSNI officer driving a vehicle in a separate incident.

Details of further cases against the 23-year-old Romanian national emerged as he mounted a new bid to be released from custody.

Filip faces charges of aggravated burglary, grievous bodily harm with intent, threats to kill, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possessing a prohibited weapon, having a knife with intent to commit burglary, and criminal damage.

He was allegedly among three men who broke into a property on Ashley Avenue, south Belfast on December 11 last year.

The city's Magistrates Court previously heard the intruders grabbed one of two women staying there, trailing her upstairs breaking a strap on her clothing.

She was kicked around and then tried to escape, only to be "Tasered" with a stun gun until she nearly passed out, according to police.

The two women were then tied together with a belt.

Nearly £2,000 was said to have been stolen from the property.

Filip, with an address at Agincourt Avenue in Belfast, was later arrested and charged following alleged police identification. He denies involvement in the burglary.

Defence barrister Barry McKenna argued that forensic tests carried out on the victim's ripped dress found no trace of his client's DNA.

Filip was out on bail, but returned to custody following further charges of criminal damage to an electronic monitoring tag and escaping from lawful custody in April this year.

A detective claimed on Thursday that he fled while being escorted to a PSNI vehicle for a suspected breach of bail, remaining at large for several days.

He was allegedly seen running towards Ormeau Park, where a police dog was brought in to find him.

"The park had to be closed off at all exits to ensure he was located," the detective said.

District Judge Mark Hamill heard Filip is separately accused of causing danger to road users over an incident in January.

That charge relates to "shining a laser pen in the eyes of police officers driving a vehicle".

Concerns were raised that the defendant may try to move back to Romania permanently if released again.

But Mr McKenna insisted Filip was not picked out at an identification procedure for the burglary case.

"The only evidence connecting him to those offences is alleged identification by one police officer," counsel said.

Adjourning the bail application for a week, Mr Hamill identified the risk of flight as a key issue.

The judge pointed out: "He's charged with escaping from lawful custody, and an allegation that while police were trying to apprehend him he made himself scarce."

Belfast Telegraph