DNA on cable tie 'links man to jewellery raid', court told
A man accused of a jewellery raid on a house in Co Antrim is allegedly linked by DNA on a cable tie used to bind the homeowner, the High Court in Northern Ireland heard today.
Malcolm McKeown, 54, denies a charge of aggravated burglary with intent to steal over the break-in at Beanstown Road, Lisburn.
During a bail application prosecutors said the property was targeted by three men on November 14 last year.
A man in his fifties who lives there was allegedly punched and bundled inside before being dragged to the living room floor, where his wrists and ankles were bound by cable ties.
Crown lawyer Kate McKay said the intruders searched the house, stealing a box containing items of jewellery.
They escaped in a white van after being disturbed by the victim's niece.
The vehicle was later sighted in Waringstown, Co Down, but its occupants escaped over a fence.
Five days later a council litter picker found the jewellery box and contents near the Dromore Road in the village.
McKeown, of Meadowvale, Waringstown, was arrested in May after forensic tests were carried out.
Mrs McKay said: "They resulted in this applicant's DNA being located on a cable tie used to tie up the victim."
In police interviews McKeown denied any involvement in the burglary and said he regularly worked with cable ties.
Opposing bail, the prosecutor said the victim has been left traumatised by his ordeal.
"This type of offence occurs in rural areas at houses which look prosperous and are located in isolated areas," she added.
It was confirmed, however, that the victim and his niece both failed to pick out McKeown at an identification process.
Defence counsel insisted the DNA hit on a single cable tie is the only evidence allegedly linking his client to the burglary.
He argued that McKeown uses the fasteners around the home, working on vehicles or when putting up posters.
Granting bail, Mr Justice Maguire banned McKeown from any contact with the victim and excluded him from entering the Lisburn area. ends
Belfast Telegraph Digital