Northern Ireland

Man involved in 'caper' not crime

An alleged burglar was more involved in an Only Fools and Horses-style caper than serious crime, the High Court heard on Monday.

Bernard Rooney, 42, of Donegall Road, Belfast, is accused of helping to steal machinery and scrap metal from an engineering firm in County Armagh.

The charges relate to a raid on Annesborough Engineering near Lurgan on 7 February.

A lawyer said he was asked to remove scrap metal because he owned a van.

The defence lawyer told the court Mr Rooney was promised "a couple of hundred pounds" in return for his services.

Barrister Sean Devine said: "He wasn't aware this escapade involved having to go into the premises.

"It does smack of a particularly poor episode of Only Fools and Horses, rather than more sinister criminal behaviour," he said.

Mr Justice Stephens refused bail as he thought there was a risk of re-offending.