Man accused of locking staff in Belfast shop, threatening to burn it down, attacking police and smearing excrement on cell wall over dressing gown dispute
A disgruntled customer allegedly locked staff in a printing shop and threatened to burn it down in a dispute over a dressing gown, the High Court has heard.
Prosecutors claimed employees at the business in Belfast city centre were left terrified by Gary Byrne's actions.
The 29-year-old is also accused of attacking up to four police officers after they were called to the scene earlier this month.
Byrne, of Hawtree Park in Lisburn, Co Antrim, faces charges of false imprisonment, threats to kill and threats to damage property, disorderly behaviour, four assaults on police and criminal damage to a PSNI cell smeared in excrement.
During a bail application it was claimed he went into Dstar Printing Boutique on Castle Street on June 7 demanding to speak to the manager.
A judge was told he shouted: "You wrecked my new born baby's house coat."
Prosecution counsel alleged Byrne continued to scream and rant incomprehensibly before going behind the counter and declaring: "Right, this shop is f****** shut."
The premises were locked for a period with three members of staff inside, the court heard.
"They all appeared to be terrified as he appeared to be completely out of control," the prosecutor added.
It was claimed that he then threatened: "I'm going to burn this f****** shop down while you're all in it."
Bryne allegedly continued by telling staff there were three ways to sort out the situation: the right way, the wrong way or the illegal way.
He then unlocked the shop, approached police outside and asked: "Are youse looking for me?", the court heard.
Officers were forced to put him into leg restraints and handcuffs amid fears he was going to strike out, it was claimed.
Byrne is accused of threatening to bite one constable and kicking two others.
The prosecution lawyer contended that at one stage he told police: "Third warning, I will take your face off."
Mr Justice Horner also heard that after Byrne was brought into custody he allegedly daubed excrement on a cell wall and wrote the word "Dirty" on it.
Defence barrister Michael Boyd accepted: "He (the accused) for whatever reason seems to deal very, very poorly with any sort of conflict situation."
Adjourning the application for bail, the judge stressed that he would not consider releasing Byrne without seeing a psychiatric report.
He said: "This man has got clear issues that require resolution before he can be let out, given the risk to the general public."
Belfast Telegraph Digital