Man in court over arson attack on north Belfast shop
A MAN accused of setting fire to a north Belfast convenience store is not a pyromaniac, a court has heard.
Neill McGreevy's lawyer rejected claims he poses a wider threat following the alleged weekend arson attack on a Co-op branch.
The shop, located on the Antrim Road, sustained substantial damage to a caged area and scorch damage to a wall.
A pile of rubbish and newspapers had been set alight early on Sunday morning.
McGreevy, aged 23 and of no fixed address, appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court to face a charge of arson endangering life with intent.
A detective confirmed the case against him is based on CCTV evidence.
Opposing bail, she claimed there would be a risk of further offending or interference with witnesses if he was released.
While in police custody McGreevy allegedly stated: "When I get out of here there's going to be murder."
A defence solicitor argued, however, that the accused has a significant learning difficulty.
"He's clearly a man of limited intellect and doesn't know what he's saying," the lawyer insisted.
"He's not a general risk to the public, there's no evidence that he's a pyromaniac or some form of arsonist."
But refusing bail, District Judge Mark Hamill ruled that ensuring public protection must come first.
He said: "It would take a very courageous district judge to release him on bail - I'm not that courageous."
McGreevy was remanded in custody to appear again on July 31.