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Man accused of armed robbery bid at Belfast off licence to undergo psychiatric tests


Belfast Magistrates' Court. (PA)

Belfast Magistrates' Court. (PA)

Belfast Magistrates' Court. (PA)

A man accused of attempting to rob an off licence in east Belfast armed with a suspected gun is to undergo psychiatric tests, a court has heard.

Timothy Walker tried to take his own life just before he allegedly targeted the shop last week, his lawyer disclosed.

The 40-year-old was arrested by police investigating the incident at a Winemark store on the Holywood Road.

He appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court charged with attempted robbery and carrying a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.

Walker, of Abbey Ring in Holywood, Co Down, faces further counts of possessing a folding knife and an extendable baton as an offensive weapon in public, attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, and going equipped for theft with cable ties and duct tape.

All of the alleged offences were carried out on May 13.

A detective told the court she could connect Walker to the charges, but provided no further details about the circumstances.

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Defence solicitor Patrick Higgins confirmed his client was not seeking bail.

“He attempted to commit suicide just before these alleged offences, he has significant mental health problems,” the lawyer submitted.

With Walker’s family said to share serious concerns for his welfare, Mr Higgins requested a psychiatric assessment to be carried out.

District Judge Austin Kennedy remanded the accused in custody, to appear again by video-link on May 25.

Mr Kennedy also directed: “If it is appropriate, the investigation into his mental health can be done.”

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