Belfast Telegraph

Hotel burglary accused claims he 'hadn't been there in five years'

A man accused of a "sophisticated" hotel room burglary claimed he hadn't been there in five years, the High Court heard today.

Michael McGrory is alleged to have stolen £380 from a guest at the Beechlawn Hotel in Dunmurry, near Belfast.

The cash had been in a handbag left in the bathroom of a room looking out onto a fire escape, prosecutors said.

Fingerprints found on a window frame following the May 25 raid were checked against a list of guests and staff.

McGrory, (27) of Nansen Street, Belfast, was arrested and charged with burglary after a match was made with his prints.

He denies the allegation, telling police he had neither stayed at nor worked in the hotel.

Opposing his application for bail, prosecution barrister Stephanie Boyd raised issues about where he would be living if released.

A defence lawyer accepted there is a prima facie case against McGrory.

But she contended: "He gave an explanation that he had been in the Beechlawn Hotel about five years ago.

"There are triable issues - fingerprints may or may not be present after a period of time."

Bail was refused amid uncertainty over McGrory's address.

Mr Justice Deeny described the alleged break-in as a "distressing and annoying".

The judge added: "This was quite a sophisticated burglary - to take money from the purse of a handbag of this lady in the hotel, using a fire escape up to the roof."

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