Belfast Telegraph

Man accused of stealing five cars in raid says mistress may provide DNA link

By Alan Erwin

A man accused of stealing five cars during a raid on a dealership claimed a sex act with his mistress may explain a DNA link to the scene, the High Court heard today.

Stephen Maughan allegedly broke into Moyway Motors in Dungannon, Co Tyrone as part of a week-long crime spree on both sides of the border.

The 26-year-old, of Callan Bridge Park, Armagh, was refused bail on a total of 17 charges, including three burglaries, six counts of taking a motor vehicle without authority, and handling stolen goods.

He is also accused of having stolen number plates falsely fitted to his own car from another vehicle parked outside the Killyhevlin Hotel in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.

All of the alleged offences occurred between April 16-24 this year.

Two Mercedes cars, a Volkswagen Golf and two Audi A6s were said to have been taken after the gates at Moyway Motors were rammed in the first incident.

Prosecution counsel Conor Maguire claimed DNA found at the entry and on the steering wheel of one recovered vehicle is linked to Maughan.

Following his arrest the defendant gave a reason for the possible forensic connection to the scene, the court heard.

"He told police he was 'getting a b*** job from my mistress in the car'," the barrister submitted.

"Or he gave an alternative that he could have been in Moyway six or twelve months ago looking at the cars."

The following day the same gang raided a salvage yard in Crumlin, Co Antrim and stole a Toyota Hilux in Clones, Co Monaghan, according to the prosecution.

Mr Maguire claimed a Ford Kuga registered to Maughan is linked to the offences.

He set out how that car also allegedly attempted to ram the front barrier of engineering premises in Dungannon.

Richard McConkey, defending, confirmed Maughan denies the charges against him.

Citing the potential delay in the case due to DNA evidence, Mr McConkey argued that his client should be released to live with his wife and children.

"He's entitled to the presumption of innocence," the barrister added.

Refusinf bail, however, Mrs Justice Keegan ruled: "There's a (risk) of re-offending and I don't consider I could impose conditions to manage that."

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