Ballycastle man remanded in custody in relation to burglary of home of man (76)

Ballycastle man remanded in custody in relation to burglary of home of man (76)

A BALLYCASTLE man has been remanded in custody accused of the burglary of the home of a 76-year-old man in the town.

Patrick O'Kane (32), of Leyland Drive, appeared via video link at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday.

He is accused of burglary at Marconi Park in Ballycastle in relation to July 31 this year.

A detective constable believed she could connect the defendant to the charge.

Objecting to bail, the officer said a 76-year-old man returned home to find his back gate forced open, a rear window smashed and his home "ransacked".

Items stolen included medication and two gold watches, one which had been given to him by his late wife, the police officer told the court.

The court heard blood was found on the window which she believed matched the defendant.

The two watches and medication were found and returned to the man.

The officer said during interview the defendant denied involvement in the break-in and had said he did not believe the blood matched his.

The policewoman objected to bail saying at the time of the alleged offence the defendant was on pre-charge bail for burglaries in a domestic dwelling and also a pharmacy when medication was stolen.

The officer said the defendant had twice breached bail in relation to electronic tags in relation to 2018.

She believed O'Kane would commit further offences if released on bail.

The PSNI officer said the defendant had a previous conviction for perjury when he admitted guilt in relation to a road traffic incident in an "attempt to cover up for somebody else".

The office said O'Kane was "well known to the victim" of the burglary and to the wider community in Ballycastle.

She said the defendant had "various mental health" issues.

Defence barrister Gavyn Cairns said there was a bail address available in Armoy.

The lawyer said O'Kane made the case he had been in the Marconi Park property before as he had been in a relationship with a relative of the victim.

The police officer told the court the blood was "between" the two panes of double glazed glass which could only have happened after it was smashed.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was a "serious allegation" and said there was a "strong case" against O'Kane in relation to where the blood was found.

He said the defendant had 103 previous convictions including for burglary.

The judge refused bail and the case was adjourned to Coleraine Magistrates Court on October 18.