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Girl (13) allegedly broke into castle and stole ornamental key during alcohol-fuelled crime spree

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Newtownards Youth Court was sitting in Belfast.

Newtownards Youth Court was sitting in Belfast.

PA Archive/PA Images

Newtownards Youth Court was sitting in Belfast.

A 13-year-old girl allegedly broke into a castle and stole a century-old ornamental key during an alcohol-fuelled crime spree in Co Down, a court heard today.

Police claimed she then accompanied a 16-year-old boy in robbing younger children of phones and clothes at knifepoint.

Details emerged as he was granted bail over his alleged role in the muggings carried out in Bangor last Saturday.

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, is charged with three counts of robbery, theft, and possessing an offensive weapon with intent.

Newtownards Youth Court, sitting in Belfast, heard the two teenagers went into an Asda store and stole two bottles of vodka.

Less than half an hour later, a PSNI officer said, intruders broke a window at Bangor Castle.

"A one hundred-year-old ornamental key was stolen from inside and is still outstanding," he disclosed.

Judge George Conner was told the girl has admitted involvement, while the boy denies any role in the break-in for which he is not charged.

But the pair were said to have approached a group of children in a nearby leisure centre car park.

The 16-year-old defendant allegedly produced a knife, pointed it at a 12-year-old boy's throat and demanded his iPhone.

His female co-accused instructed him to get the password before they ran off into woods with the mobile, it was claimed.

Half an hour later another two boys aged 11 were targeted.

They were threatened with a knife as the teenage robbers again demanded their phones and passwords, according to police.

One child was also quizzed about the size of his shoes.

He was then allegedly made to hand over his trainers and jacket before the muggers fled into bushes.

Police were called and searched the area, locating the male accused with two stolen mobiles on him, the court heard.

All of the victims described him as the "aggressor".

One of the children targeted is still at primary school and claimed the youth said to him: "Tell me where you live, or I'm going to find you and stab you."

Opposing bail, the PSNI officer added: "They are in fear that he will come back and find them."

Defence solicitor Joe Mulholland said the teenager has accepted his involvement in some of the offences committed after drinking a bottle of vodka.

"He is the most remorseful child you could ever meet; he's exasperated with himself," Mr Mulholland insisted.

Granting bail due to the defendant's age, Mr Conner ordered him to live under curfew at a children's home.

"He can only leave with the permission of staff, he is state where he's going and who he proposes to meet," the judge stressed.

"He is not to carry any knife in a public place, I don't care if it's a butter knife."

Banning the boy from contacting any of the victims, he told him: "I don't care how sorry you are, this should never have happened." ends

Belfast Telegraph