Hotel guests 'carry out rooftop raid'

Published Monday, 12 November 2012
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Two guests allegedly carried out a rooftop raid to steal a hotel safe containing up to £13,000, the High Court has heard.

Hotel guests 'carry out rooftop raid'
The theft took place in June 2009. (© UTV)

The man and woman broke into an office at the Whistledown Hotel in Warrenpoint, Co Down after checking in and then climbing out of skylights in their rooms, prosecutors claimed.

One of the suspects has used four different names as he moved about Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic and England, a judge was told.

William Murphy, 23, of Edmore Drive, Wembley, London, is accused of burglary and theft.

Although the alleged raid took place more than three years ago, he was only charged following a recent forensic match with DNA from the crime scene.

Prosecution barrister Philip Henry claimed the two suspects checked into the hotel in June 2009.

They were together but took separate rooms, with the woman paying for both in cash.

Mr Henry said: "Then the (alleged) offenders exited the rooms via skylight, went across roofs, into the office of the hotel and left the hotel with a safe."

The safe was never recovered - but contained between £10,000-13,000.

DNA and fingerprints were found in the office, but a link with Murphy was only established when his details were registered in England, the court heard.

The accused, described as a recovering heroin addict, was arrested but claimed he had never been in Northern Ireland.

Opposing Murphy's application for bail, Mr Henry detailed his movements and claimed there was a risk of flight.

"He has provided to police in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, England and Wales two different dates of birth and four different names," the barrister said.

Murphy's lawyer argued that there was only a tenuous connection to the alleged burglary. The use of different names was due to his parents splitting up, he explained.

The accused uses one surname when in Ireland out of loyalty to his mother, and another in England to show loyalty to his father, the court was told.

Bail was granted on condition that a £500 cash surety is lodged.

Mr Justice Burgess also ordered Murphy to report to police in London three times a week.

© UTV News
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