Belfast Telegraph

Social media 'used to trace burglar'

A woman whose east Belfast home was broken into traced the suspected burglar following a post on social media, a court heard yesterday
A woman whose east Belfast home was broken into traced the suspected burglar following a post on social media, a court heard yesterday

By Ashleigh McDonald

A woman whose east Belfast home was broken into traced the suspected burglar following a post on social media, a court heard yesterday.

As a result of the post the woman arrived at the suspect's house - and had a pearl necklace which had been stolen during the break-in handed back to her by the suspect's mother.

James Clarke, from Ashmount Park, has been charged with carrying out an aggravated burglary on April 16.

The 25-year-old made a first appearance at Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday, where an application for bail was granted.

A police officer said that on April 16 the female occupant of a house at Ashbrook Crescent discovered that her property had been broken into.

A black-handled knife was left on a bed, and a Tommy Hilfiger watch and pearl necklace had been stolen.

The officer said that after making posts on social media, the woman was "given a name", which prompted her to go to Clarke's home.

Once there, the defendant's mother "returned her pearl necklace to her and apologised", the court heard.

Clarke then "handed himself in to police".

Clarke's solicitor asked Deputy District Judge Gerard Trainor to release his client on bail, which was granted, with a series of conditions attached.

Clarke was ordered not to enter Ashbrook Crescent or have any contact with the injured party, and to observe a 10pm to 7am curfew.

The defendant was also ordered not to consume or be under the influence of any drugs other than those prescribed by his GP.

Clarke's case was listed before the same court in four weeks' time.

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