Judge bars man from cat-calling and Castlederg convenience stores
A Northern Ireland man accused of producing a suspected gun and telling shop staff he had "people to shoot, people to kill" is to be barred from his local convenience stores, a High Court judge ordered on Wednesday.
Robert Kee is also prohibited from going near the home in Castlederg, Co Tyrone of a sales assistant he allegedly holds a grudge against.
Mr Justice Maguire imposed the exclusion zones as part of conditions under which he granted bail to the 54-year-old.
Kee was said to have pulled out the potential weapon styled like a Glock pistol as he bought a pie and tobacco in the village.
He is charged with possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence over incidents in two shops on the same night.
Defence counsel claimed they were merely the actions of a drunken pest.
Prosecutors said Kee, of Millbrook Gardens in Castlederg, first took out the pistol as he approached the till to make purchases in the store on January 3.
"He stated that he had people to shoot, people to kill," a Crown lawyer contended.
Minutes later Kee went into a nearby Co-op branch and asked a member of staff if one of his colleagues was working, the was told.
On being told she was off, he allegedly replied "does she know what's coming to her?" before opening his jacket to pull out the apparent handgun.
A replica weapon, variously described as a BB gun and air pistol, was later seized during a police search at Kee's home.
The defendant claimed to have bought it from a 13-year-old boy just before entering the shops, the court heard.
He also told police that he had drunk three bottles of whisky earlier that day.
His bail application had been adjourned for tests to be carried out on the suspected air gun.
It was confirmed today that the weapon is powered by a gas cylinder, is unable to fire orthodox ammunition and does not require a firearms certificate.
Following those disclosures the judge ruled that Kee could be granted bail on tight conditions, including a ban on alcohol and the imposition of the no-go zones.
"Unquestionably the incidents of that evening were frightening for the staff, but in their own way they were bizarre, strange and hard to understand," he said.
"Oddly, the production of the weapon does not appear to have been part of a theft or robbery - in the first premises he paid for the items he took from the shelves, produced the weapon and left."
Banning Kee from going near the assistant off duty that night, Mr Justice Maguire added: "That includes any form of cat-calling or making remarks in the street directed towards that person.
Belfast Telegraph Digital