Belfast Telegraph

Mental health concerns over man accused of knife hijack

By Paul Higgins

A judge has urged prison staff to assess a Co Down man's mental state after she remanded him into custody accused of stealing a car at knifepoint.

After hearing that 24-year-old Gary Colin Cromie suffers from mental health problems and self harming issues, District Judge Crothers recommended that he is assessed "as soon as possible" in Maghaberry prison.

Appearing in Newtownards Magistrates Court, Cromie, from Drumcloon Walk in Downpatrick, confirmed he understood the seven charges against him.

He faces accusations that on August 11, he robbed a Ford Focus car, possessed two knives - including a lock knife and a flick knife - with intent to commit robbery, theft of a car, driving while disqualified and without insurance and that he possessed class C drug Chlorpromazine, an antipsychotic medication.

A PSNI officer told the court how the 59-year-old victim had parked his car outside his home at Trasnagh Drive in Newtownards when he heard a man behind him as he walked up the path to the door.

Defence solicitor Chris Logue told the court there was no application for bail so the outline of the facts "may not be necessary".

The lawyer said there were concerns over the defendant's mental health. He said that while accepting Cromie would be going to jail, "we would ask that he is assessed pretty quickly when he gets up there."

Cromie was remanded into custody, to appear on September 9 via videolink.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph