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Man scaled Belfast crane and threw objects down causing £20k worth of damage, court told

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A man climbed to the top of a crane in Belfast city centre and caused an estimated £20,000 worth of damage by hurling objects to the street below, a court was told yesterday

A man climbed to the top of a crane in Belfast city centre and caused an estimated £20,000 worth of damage by hurling objects to the street below, a court was told yesterday

A man climbed to the top of a crane in Belfast city centre and caused an estimated £20,000 worth of damage by hurling objects to the street below, a court was told yesterday

A man climbed to the top of a crane in Belfast city centre and caused an estimated £20,000 worth of damage by hurling objects to the street below, a court was told yesterday.

Michael Scott is also accused of throwing a fire extinguisher at a police officer's head after negotiators were deployed to a construction site.

The 34-year-old defendant, from Forthriver Drive in Belfast, is charged with criminal damage and possessing an offensive weapon over the incident in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

He also faces three counts of assault on police and common assault.

Opposing his application for bail at the city's Magistrates Court, a PSNI constable said Scott was alleged to have pushed his partner down a flight of steps on Custom House Square.

Police then received a report concerning a man allegedly climbing up a tower crane at the Ulster University construction site on Frederick Street.

Officers went to the scene and discovered Scott had allegedly scaled to the top of the crane.

"He remained on it for a number of hours, throwing items onto the street below," the constable said.

"A considerable amount of damage was caused to the crane, with the initial estimate of around £20,000."

Police negotiators eventually persuaded Scott to come down from the crane, but the defendant allegedly ran off after he reached the bottom.

It was claimed that he picked up a fire extinguisher and threw it at a sergeant, narrowly missing his head, as officers chased him within the building site.

The court heard he climbed up a second crane, followed by members of a rescue team who put their own safety at risk.

Scott was eventually arrested, but he allegedly continued to struggle violently, striking one officer on the leg and spitting on another.

"He's a danger to himself and the public," the constable told the court.

Defence barrister Turlough Madden acknowledged his client had "difficulties" but also argued that he retained the support of his family.

However, refusing bail, District Judge George Conner said: "I'm afraid there is too high a risk of further offences being committed."

He remanded Scott in custody to appear again by video-link in four weeks.

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