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Blowtorch ‘used in crime spree’

A teenager accused of stealing a car during a 24-hour crime spree used a blowtorch in a bid to break into houses, the High Court heard.

The suspect is alleged to have burnt through a window frame at the home of an 83-year-old man who had locked himself in his bedroom, prosecutors said.

Blister marks were found on the door of another property in the Ivy Mead area of Londonderry.

The accused, Ryan Harkin (18), of Northland Road in the city, claimed to have no recollection following his arrest because he had taken pills known as ‘blues'.

He faces a total of 16 charges for alleged offences committed between January 12-13.

They include driving while unfit, two counts of burglary, taking and driving away, attempted burglary and going equipped. Harkin was detained with two sets of car keys on him after a stolen Vauxhall Astra was abandoned at Ivy Mead.

The hearing was adjourned for further reports.

Belfast Telegraph