Northern Ireland news

Man accused of mugging pensioner in Lisburn remanded into custody

Damien Smith leaving Lisburn Court

A Lisburn man has appeared in court accused of being part of a two-man team who mugged an 84-year-old victim.

The city’s Magistrates Court heard that according to the vulnerable victim, 53-year-old Damien Gerard James Smith stole his wallet after his alleged accomplice “pushed him against the wall and threw his walking stick away” at Derriaghy train halt.

Appearing at court by videolink from police custody, Smith was charged with robbing £200 from the pensioner on August 14 and with assaulting a civilian detention officer.

Giving evidence, a police officer outlined how the pensioner first encountered Smith and his alleged accomplice at Great Victoria Street station and he was invited to sit with the pair as the train left for Lisburn.

At one stage, the unknown male who was wearing a pink tracksuit produced a silver tin from his pocket but the pensioner recognised it as his and challenged him about it.

The tin was handed over but the pensioner also realised his Samsung smart phone was missing and although he accused Smith and his friend, they denied taking it.

With the conductor ordering all three men to get off at the Derriaghy halt, it was as the pensioner was walking along the disabled ramp that the unknown male “grabbed him from behind, threw his walking stick away and held him over the railings” while Smith allegedly “went through his pockets and took his wallet.”

The officer said £200 was removed from the wallet which was then “thrown back at him” and the men left, adding that while there was CCTV footage, it did not capture the actual robbery.

A short time later, Smith called the police to report that he had witnessed a robbery but he was arrested and questioned about it. He admitted that he was with the third male but took no part in the offence.

He claimed he had gone to Belfast to bring his friend back to his house to look after him does not know his full name, just that he is called Gerard.

The officer also outlined that while in the custody suite, Smith, from Tonagh Drive in Lisburn, became aggressive, had to be restrained and allegedly “attempted to bite a CDO on the forearm.”

Under cross examination from defence counsel Damien Halleron, the officer agreed the CCTV footage shows an altercation, which Smith is not involved in, but not the actual robbery.

District Judge Rosie Watters remanded Smith into custody and adjourned the case to September 12.


Northern Ireland news