Belfast men remanded over crime spree

Belfast men remanded over crime spree

Four Belfast men have been remanded into custody accused of an audacious early morning crime spree spread across Co Antrim which included two car chases and burglaries at a number of properties.

The men - 31-year-old Kevin Brady, Sean McCann, 25, 26-year-old Joseph McDonnell and Martin Ferguson, 22 - face a number of charges.Brady, from Marsden Terrace, McCann from Cuchulainn House, McDonnell from Cedar Avenue and Ferguson from Henderson Avenue, are all jointly charged with three burglaries at houses in Belfast, Newtownabbey and Jordanstown on Friday where they allegedly stole car keys to a Seat Leon, a television, bottles of alcohol and a Sony PlayStation 4 and its games.While Brady is charged with stealing the Seat Leon and driving it dangerously on the Ballyrobin Road in Templepatrick, the other three are all charged with allowing themselves to be carried in a stolen car.Brady and McDonnell are also jointly charged with two aggravated burglaries at houses on the Carmavy Road and Lisnataylor Roads in Crumlin and Nutts Corner when they were allegedly armed with knives and stole a Honda CRV key along with legal documents, £300 in cash, a laptop and handbag.Brady is further charged with driving the stolen jeep dangerously on Ballysillan Park in north Belfast and four counts of aggravated vehicle theft in relation to the stolen keep causing damage to other cars and police vehicles.A PSNI detective constable told Belfast Magistrates' Court she believed she could connect all four to the offences.The officer outlined how the alleged spree started just before 4am when the Seat Leon car was stolen from the house at Summerhill Court and then an hour later, police responded to a report that a householder at Whitehouse Park had disturbed a burglar climbing through an open window before he ran off.He was seen driving away in a black Seat Leon car which had three other men in it.Half-an-hour after that, she told the court, three would be burglars fled in a similar car after they were disturbed at a house on Hawthorne Drive in Carrickfergus.Then at 7.45am, a family awoke to find that their home in Jordanstown had been broken into with the culprits having stolen a television, a PlayStation its games, dvds and bottles of alcohol including champagne.The officer said that just after 6am traffic police spotted the stolen Seat in north Belfast and began a high speed pursuit along the motorway while various items, including bottles of alcohol, were thrown out of the speeding car.That pursuit ended at Nutts Corner when the driver and front seat passenger, allegedly Brady and McDonnell, fled across fields on foot and climbed over wire fences to make their escape.However, officers were able to arrest Ferguson and McCann who were in the back seat of the vehicle.The stolen television and Playstation were recovered from the car.Residents at houses in the Nutts Corner area reported seeing two men in shorts with bleeding cuts to their legs acting suspiciously and a householder at the Carmavy Road told police he disturbed two burglars in his kitchen but that they fled with knives.A short time after that, two men with similar descriptions stole a Honda CRV 4x4 car from a house on the Lisnataylor Road in Crumlin which was followed by another police pursuit which ended back in north Belfast when police used two stinger devices to blow out the car's tyres before it ploughed into police vehicles and other cars causing damage.Brady and McDonnell were then arrested as they tried to flee the scene.Only Brady did not apply for bail and the detective constable said the police were strongly objecting to his three alleged accomplices being released over fears that they would reoffend or, given that they knew their alleged victims' addresses, would interfere with the investigation.Refusing the bail applications and remanding all four into custody to appear again on 15 May, District Judge George Conner said he "feared that there's too high a risk of further offending and I think there's an issue of public safety in this matter".


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