Man was 'returning stolen car'

Published Wednesday, 09 April 2014
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A man stopped behind the wheel of a stolen car claimed he was returning it to police, the High Court has heard.

Man was 'returning stolen car'
The accused claims that he spotted the car while out at the bank. (© UTV)

Mark Frew also said surgical gloves had been donned to protect forensic evidence in the Vauxhall Astra which was taken during a creeper-style burglary in Bangor, Co Down.

But refusing him bail, a judge advised him to come up with an explanation that doesn't "invite ridicule".

Frew, 23 and of Central Avenue in Bangor, faces charges of burglary, taking and driving away, and having no licence or insurance.

He and another man are accused over a break-in at a house on Railwayview Street in the early hours of 1 April.

A television, Playstation, wallet, watch and car keys were all stolen. The raiders then drove off in the Astra parked outside.

Later that day, Frew was stopped and arrested while driving the car in the College Square area of Belfast.

His co-accused was detained along with him.

Frew denied carrying out the burglary, telling police he had spotted the Astra while out at a bank.

Stephanie Boyd, prosecuting, told the court: "He said he knew it was stolen and he decided to drive it to Belfast to return it to police at Musgrave Street."

The court heard surgical gloves were found in the car.

"Frew said he had put them on to ensure he didn't disturb any forensic evidence in the car," Mrs Boyd added.

Defence lawyer Michael Boyd claimed his client had "foolishly" agreed to a request from the co-accused to drive him to the city.

Frew's plan was to drop the other man off and then take the vehicle to police without telling him, the barrister said.

Mr Boyd accepted: "He does accept he did something very wrong, he knows he drove a car which he knew at the time to have been stolen."

However, Mr Justice Horner refused bail based on the risk of re-offending.

The judge said: "His explanation that he was returning the car to Musgrave Street Police Station is an incredible one and does not bode well for his future behaviour."

© UTV News
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