Ballymena man (20) accused of robbing a man of a mobile phone and watch fails in bid to be allowed into the town as part of bail conditions

Ballymena man (20) accused of robbing a man of a mobile phone and watch fails in bid to be allowed into the town as part of bail conditions

A BALLYMENA man accused of robbing a man of a mobile phone and watch has had a bail change refused.

Thomas Macauley (20), of Clonavon Road, is alleged to have committed the offence in December last year.

He is also charged with offences on December 13, 2021 - assaulting a man occasioning him actual bodily harm; possession of a knife at Kinhilt Street in Ballymena and burglary of a property at Kinhilt Street when a microwave, toaster, mobile phone, knives and cash were taken.

The defendant is also accused of a burglary at Brooke Park in Ballymena on December 22 last year when items taken included flags, clothing, bank cards and watches.

He is also charged with burglary at Casement Street in the town on December 27 when items taken included cash, a PlayStation 4 and a Nintendo 'Switch'.

The defendant was originally remanded in custody.

A co-accused - Chelsea Marrs (18), of Dunminning Road, Glarryford - is accused of stealing a mobile phone, knives and cash on December 13 last year at Kinhilt Street.

She is further charged with stealing clothing, bank cards, watches and flags from Brooke Park on December 22 and a PlayStation 4 and cash from Casement Street on December 27.

She is also accused of possessing cannabis on January 24, 2022, and was previously granted bail.

A defence solicitor for Macauley told a court in Ballymena this week Macauley had been granted bail at the High Court on January 31 to an address outside Ballymena but it was not perfected.

He was seeking the bail to be varied to allow the accused to live in Ballymena.

A police officer "strongly objected" to the defendant being allowed into Ballymena as part of bail.

The officer said one of the alleged victims lived a short distance from Macauley's family home in Ballymena.

The defence solicitor said: "The family have investigated potential addresses. First of all they find the nature of the charges has attracted a wee bit of publicity, that is causing a difficulty in one respect, and furthermore it is not practical that he live alone because he requires assistance from his mother primarily due to mental health difficulties so it would involve her moving home to be with him.

"It wasn't clear whenever High Court bail was granted just how difficult it would be for him to secure an address outside Ballymena".

District Judge Nigel Broderick refused the bail variation and the case was adjourned to March 3.