Northern Ireland

Man discharged shotgun in public street

Accused remanded into custody

The defendants will next appear at the Old Bailey
Lucas, of no fixed abode, was charged with possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life (Nick Ansell/PA)

A Co Down man has appeared in court facing a litany of charges after he allegedly discharged a shotgun in a public street.

Appearing at Downpatrick Magistrates Court by videolink from police custody, Robert Lucas (23) nodded to confirm he understood the nine charges against him, all alleged to have been committed on June 9.

Lucas, of no fixed abode, was charged with possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life, possessing the firearm and ammunition under suspicious circumstances, possessing and discharging a loaded firearm in public, trespassing on land with a firearm, causing criminal damage to a window, possessing cocaine, driving when unfit through drink or drugs and driving while banned.

None of the circumstances were opened in court.

It is understood Lucas was arrested on a roof in Ballygowan around 8am on Sunday after reports that a shotgun was fired in a residential street.

According to a police report, a round from the shotgun struck the garage window of a house and when PSNI officers arrived at the scene, they found Lucas located on the roof of a house in nearby Meadow Avenue.

In court on Monday, defence counsel Steven Molloy confirmed he was not applying for bail.

“Police felt that he was a threat to himself with the gun,” said the barrister adding that the fact the weapon has not yet been found adds to police concerns.

Suggesting the case could be adjourned for around a week, Mr Molloy told the court he “will need to liaise with the solicitor to get a psychiatric package of assistance…and we need to get his family involved” before any realistic bail application could be mounted.

“It’s just too early a juncture,” he told District Judge Amanda Brady who remanded Lucas into custody and adjourned the case to June 19.