Northern Ireland

Man in court over shop robbery in west Belfast

Sammy Crawford collapsed during the robbery and later died in hospital
Image caption Sammy Crawford collapsed during the robbery and later died in hospital

A 20-year-old man has been charged over the attempted robbery of a shop in west Belfast on Monday.

Darren Valliday-Smyth, of no fixed abode, has been charged with attempted robbery, assault, and possession of a canister of CS gas.

During the incident, 75-year-old Sammy Crawford collapsed, suffering a suspected heart attack. He died on Wednesday morning.

Police have launched a murder inquiry after his death.

Mr Valliday-Smyth is alleged to have tried to steal a till from the newsagents on Cavendish Street.

The court was told a female shop keeper was sprayed in the face with what is believed to have been mace.

There was no application for bail and Mr Valliday-Smyth is due to reappear before the court via video link on the 11 November.

He was taken to the prison hospital, although there was no explanation why.