Belfast Telegraph

Drug addict charged with burglary claims to have no memory, court hears

By Alan Erwin

A drug addict charged with burgling a hotel and bars in Belfast has no memory due to concussion, the High Court heard on Thursday.

Pearce Maskey is also accused of raiding a Liverpool FC store, and taking a dozen laptop computers and hundreds of pounds of charity money in a further break-in at offices in the city centre.

Refusing bail to the 24-year-old, a judge described his alleged behaviour as "outrageous".

Maskey, of Little Georges Street in Belfast, is charged with four burglaries, three thefts and criminal damage on dates between August and October this year.

He allegedly broke into the Bullitt Hotel on Church Lane and stole a drill, grinder and assorted tools from a member of staff's office.

On the same date the nearby Bootleggers bar and restaurant was raided, the court heard.

Cash tills were ripped out, with a £100 float taken along with five bottles of spirits and an iPad.

Breige Gilmore, prosecuting, disclosed that nearly £500 worth of alcohol was stolen in a separate burglary at the Sunflower pub on Union Street.

Maskey was also allegedly involved in a break-in at offices on Bridge Street where 12 computers and the charity cash was taken.

None of the laptops have been returned or located.

He is futher accused of going into Liverpool FC's official store on Castle Lane and stealing up to nine training tops.

Police have identified Maskey on CCTV footage of the various incidents, Mrs Gilmore said.

Referring to his response during interviews, she added: "He provided a pre-prepared statement to police, saying he suffered from concussion and was having difficulty remembering anything."

Defence counsel Conn O'Neill told the court Maskey had been found unconscious following an incident where he fell off a wall.

"He has been hospitalised, and I'm told by staff that he's lucky to be with us," Mr O'Neill said.

The barrister confirmed that his client has a history of addiction to narcotics.

But the judge, Sir Richard McLaughlin, ruled there was too great a risk of re-offending to grant bail.

Referring to the alleged theft of the unrecovered laptops, he said: "It's outrageous behaviour, to take a computer with all your personal data.

"Even just losing a phone with all the numbers in it is enough to drive most people scatty."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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