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Man faces 70 charges over orgy of crime

By Alan Erwin

A Belfast man wanted in connection with an alleged major crime spree is behind bars.

Sean Tate appeared before magistrates in the city yesterday charged with attempted murder, vehicle hijackings and more than a dozen armed robberies.

The 33-year-old, with addresses at Monagh Crescent and Westrock Grove, Belfast, is also accused of false imprisonment and having firearms.

Earlier this year police went public in a bid to locate the suspect and yesterday he was brought into the dock to face nearly 70 charges.

They included an alleged murder bid on a man attacked with a screwdriver in April.

A detective constable said she could connect Tate with all of the alleged offences.

Defence solicitor Stephen Toal told the court the attempted murder charge was being denied.

Questioning the police officer, he said: “The allegation is another man stabbed the injured party and Mr Tate simply shouted encouragement.”

She replied that the situation was unclear and that an identification process was to be set up.

The detective also confirmed that Tate had been circulated as wanted on TV and radio a number of months ago.

The court heard that along with attempted murder, he is charged with three aggravated burglaries, 16 armed robberies, three hijackings and two aggravated vehicle takings.

Tate is further accused of three counts each of false imprisonment and possessing firearms, and 38 other counts including a number of alleged assaults.

With no application for bail, he was remanded in custody to |appear again before the court next month.

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