Belfast Telegraph

Woman was threatened with boiling water in front of child, court is told

Sir Declan identified issues with an exclusion zone imposed in the case (stock photo)
Sir Declan identified issues with an exclusion zone imposed in the case (stock photo)

By Alan Erwin

Intruders threatened a mother with boiling water in front of her three-year-old child, the High Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutors said the Polish woman also had a knife held to her throat after being chased into her north Belfast home by men demanding drugs and claiming to be loyalist paramilitaries.

The victim believes she was targeted because of her nationality, a judge was told.

Details emerged as a 37-year-old man accused of involvement in the raid and a separate £22,000 cash heist from a Chinese superstore attempted to vary his bail conditions.

Ross Thompson, of Arosa Parade in Belfast, faces charges of robbery, possessing an offensive weapon with intent, aggravated burglary and two counts of taking a motor vehicle without authority.

A Crown lawyer said masked men entered the back garden of a house at Downview Gardens on September 20.

A woman who lives there was hanging out washing and ran inside, but was pursued by the intruders.

She was grabbed and pinned to the floor where a knife was put to her throat by one of the men demanding to know where the drugs were, the court heard.

"Another man boiled a kettle and threatened to throw it over her," the prosecutor contended. "They told her they were from a loyalist paramilitary group."

When the woman insisted no drugs were in the house it was claimed that up to £1,000 in savings was taken.

Two children, aged ten and three were present at the time.

"The three-year-old observed the violence used against his mother," the Crown lawyer added.

"The injured party believes she was targeted because of the fact she is Polish."

Thompson is allegedly linked to the burglary by his work van being in the area at the time, according to the prosecution. It was claimed that the vehicle also connects him to a raid on the China Cash & Carry at Duncrue Street in Belfast on August 9.

Three men were said to have entered the store, one wielding a hatchet, and forced a shop worker into the office.

They ordered her to open a safe, taking £20,000 before stealing another £2,000 from a till.

Thompson was previously granted bail to live at another address in the city.

At one point during the hearing Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan queried if he had power to revoke his bail.

Defence counsel Michael Boyd argued that his client faces a circumstantial case.

He sought to have Thompson allowed to return to his family home.

But adjourning the application, Sir Declan identified issues with an exclusion zone imposed in the case.

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