Belfast Telegraph

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Alleged burglar found cable tied and half naked after Armagh break-in, court told

Newry Magistrates’ Court (Paul Faith/PA)
Newry Magistrates’ Court (Paul Faith/PA)

By Donal McMahon

An alleged south Armagh burglar has given no explanation for his apparent citizen’s arrest when he was found cable tied and half naked against a wall following a break-in in Cullyhanna.

James Connors (18), of no fixed abode in Warrenpoint, is charged with burglary of residential premises in the Cregganduff Road, Cullyhanna on Tuesday November 19.

A bail application was opposed with a PSNI detective constable stating he could connect him to the charges.

Newry Magistrates Court heard that a home was found ransacked and two 50-euro notes stolen with a pink handbag left lying outside.

A vehicle suspected to have been used by the robbers was discovered with four flat tyres with two men said to have made off across fields.

The PSNI later found Connors mysteriously half naked with no trousers or shoes and bound in cable ties against a wall. He had suffered some physical injuries.

During interview he gave no comment and would not account for the condition he had been found in.

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Defence applied for bail with a view that Connors safety was at risk as a teenager about to be put in an adult jail over Christmas.

He was described as a person of the Traveller community, with little education having been out of school for the last seven years and in the company of older men.

“I have no instructions as to why he was found in cable ties,” said solicitor John Rocks.

“There is no father at home. He is concerned for his own wellbeing and that of his mother taking care of his siblings over the Christmas period.

“This would be his first time in an adult jail, which would be an extremely daunting experience,” he added.

District judge Paul Copeland refused bail and alluded to the lack of explanation for Connors’ apparent citizen’s arrest in the middle of the countryside before refusing bail.

“The defendant is concerned about being away from his family this time of year as a father figure to his siblings,” said Mr Copeland.

“I’m more worried about the safety of householders in this part of south Down and south Armagh.”

Connors was remanded into custody a with the case adjourned to December 18.

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