Northern Ireland

Man 'used five-year-old boy to steal groceries'

A 61-year-old man used a five-year-old boy to steal groceries, a court has heard.

Daniel Braniff, of Ballymurphy Parade in west Belfast, faces eight charges of theft, one of attempted theft and a further charge of making a threat to kill.

Belfast Magistrates Court was told he has 119 criminal convictions and three suspended sentences for similar offences.

He was remanded in custody.

The court was told two charges related to the alleged theft of clothes worth £800 from two shops, while five charges were connected to the alleged theft of goods and a shopping trolley from a convenience store on Lisburn Road.

A police officer said in one incident, Mr Braniff had filled a trolley with groceries that was then pushed out of the shop by the five-year-old.

Refusing bail, the judge said: "I would be sympathetic to it if I wasn't aware there were suspended sentences."

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