Belfast Telegraph

Man pointed knife at 6-month-old baby during Belfast burglary, court told

By Alan Erwin

A man accused of pointing a knife at a baby during a burglary is to be banned from going near the victims' home, a High Court judge has ordered.

The prohibition on entering Belfast's Stranmillis area was imposed on 25-year-old Tyrone Boyle as he was granted bail.

Boyle, of Victoria Parade in the city, and co-defendant Seamus Rooney allegedly carried out a break-in last November described by the infant's mother as like a scene from a horror movie.

A previous court heard she pleaded with one of the night-time intruders, fearing he was going to kill the six-month-old child.

The woman, her partner and their young son shared a downstairs bedroom in the house on Stranmillis Gardens.

Prosecutors said she woke in the early hours to find two men in their room.

They alleged Boyle was standing over the baby's cot and pointing a knife at him, while 30-year-old Rooney, of Kinnaird Terrace in Belfast, had a blade positioned close to the child's father.

It was claimed Boyle moved the knife in a stabbing motion towards her baby and demanded: "Where's the stuff?".

The woman told police she pleaded on her hands and knees with the raider not to hurt her baby.

The couple, in their twenties, also share the home with the woman's mother and seven-year-old brother.

According to the prosecution the older woman came downstairs and wrestled with one of the intruders, grabbing the knife before forcing him out of the house.

Boyle and Rooney were arrested a short time later on the nearby Stranmillis Road.

A laptop belonging to one of the victims and nearly £400 in cash allegedly stolen from the property was recovered.

Both men are charged with aggravated burglary and possessing an offensive weapon, namely a knife.

Boyle mounted a fresh application for bail after his co-accused was released from custody earlier this month.

Defence counsel Mark Farrell argued that this amounted to the necessary change of circumstances.

With the prosecution confirming no distinction was being drawn between the two accused, Mr Justice McCloskey agreed to grant bail.

Imposing a curfew and alcohol ban, he ordered: "The applicant will not contact or make any attempt to contact any injured party, any prosecution witness or the co-accused."

The judge also agreed to impose an exclusion zone after being asked to ban Boyle from the Stranmillis area.

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