Northern Ireland

Court told Matthew McKee victim of punishment shooting

A teenager accused of burgling two north Belfast schools was later subjected to a paramilitary punishment shooting, the High Court has been told.

Matthew McKee, 18, of Carlisle Road, Belfast, was allegedly involved in a raid on the Holy Family Primary School when a set of car keys was taken.

He is also accused of a break-in at St Malachy's College when a lap-top computer and projector were seized.

The punishment shooting was revealed during an application for bail.

The prosecution alleges that further offences were committed by Mr McKee between November last year and March 2012.

These include the theft of more than £1,200 worth of alcohol from the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, the attempted theft of eight football tops valued at £340 from a store in Lurgan, and the theft of more than £560 worth of goods from a Boots branch in east Belfast.

During his application for bail it emerged that he was the victim of a so-called punishment attack in February.

His barrister, Declan Quinn, said he was shot in the leg and has been receiving blood-thinning injections.

Mr Quinn added: "Due to his remand in custody he has missed two appointments as regards X-rays.

"They are important matters with regards to his rehabilitation."

The barrister confirmed that Mr McKee denies some of the offences.

But refusing bail, Mr Justice McCloskey likened his alleged behaviour to that of "a hardened criminal".

He said: "The picture is one of the most depressing I have ever seen.

"It is difficult to conceive of a more hopeless application for bail."