Northern Ireland

Laurencetown man accused of stealing from grandmother

High court

A County Down man has appeared in court accused of stealing from his grandmother and punching a policewoman.

Connor Lennon is also alleged to have taken his brother's car without consent, tried to headbutt a police officer and spat at another one.

The 25-year-old, of Church View Way, Laurencetown, faces 20 charges including assault on police, theft, possessing cannabis and burglary.

He was refused bail by a judge at Belfast High Court.

Prosecutors said the first alleged incident happened on 17 March when he was stopped by police, punched a female officer in the face and ran off.

Following his arrest a month later he denied the assault, the court heard.

A prosecution barrister said: "He claimed to have a condition which makes him want to run away from police."

Debit card

A series of other alleged offences over a three-day period in April were detailed, including the theft of his grandmother's debit card and using it to take £500.

It was claimed Mr Lennon went to her home on the pretence of paying a visit before taking her card and PIN number from a handbag.

He later claimed she allowed him to take it because he had no money, but refused to tell police where the cash was, the court was told.

A day later he allegedly ran from a Renault Megane which had been pursued by police in Banbridge, according to the prosecution.

Inquiries revealed the car belonged to his brother, with the keys allegedly taken without permission.

Mr Lennon was arrested the next day after police chased a Honda car through a field.

The court was told he tried to head-butt one officer and spat at another.

Seeking bail, defence counsel Michael Boyd said the accused had a history of abusing recreational drugs and was living a "nomadic existence" at the time of the alleged offences.

But refusing the application, Lord Justice Girvan commented: "There is a real risk he would not turn up for trial."