Northern Ireland news

Teen ‘carried out burglary on crutches' two weeks after paramilitary shooting

A teenager has been accused of carrying out a burglary on crutches, two weeks after being shot in a paramilitary-style attack
Staff Reporter

A BELFAST teenager accused of carrying out a burglary on crutches had been shot six times in the legs two weeks earlier, a court has been told.

The 17-year-old is charged with breaking into a house in the north of the city on Friday.

Gunmen blasted him within hours of a previous catalogue of violent offences he allegedly committed, a judge was told.

The teenager, who cannot be identified, appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court on Monday accused of burgling the Antrim Road address and stealing a purse.

He also faces three counts of attempted grievous bodily harm and possessing a claw hammer and baseball bat in public on May 9.

Further charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault, criminal damage to a car, a bicycle, windows and theft of the bike valued at £430 relate to the same date.

All of his alleged offences were said to have been committed within an area of two to three streets.

As the youth was brought into court on crutches, police strenuously opposed his application for bail.

An officer revealed that the paramilitary shooting was carried out on the same day as the first set of alleged offences.

"Roughly two weeks since then he's out committing a burglary," she claimed.

"The local community are up in arms over everything."

Defence solicitor Robert Murtagh said his client claims he only went into the house after seeing the men who had previously attacked him.

"There's some sort of ongoing background to this, resulting in the explosion of alleged offences on May 9," the lawyer contended.

"Then (the accused) was abducted by a number of masked men and shot six times in the lower part of his body."

Mr Murtagh disclosed the possibility of his client going to live with a relative in England.

Adjourning the case for checks on that address, District Judge Amanda Henderson remanded the teenager in custody until Friday.

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