Northern Ireland news

Teen allegedly stole van from security workers who called at his home to install monitoring equipment

He appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court

A TEENAGER allegedly stole a van from security workers who called out at his home to install monitoring equipment, a court has heard.

Stephen Kerr is accused of taking the keys and driving off in the vehicle on the outskirts of west Belfast in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Police also claimed the 18-year-old was behind the wheel of the Peugeot 308 when it damaged gates belonging to the National Trust.

Kerr, of Colin Road in Dunmurry, appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court on charges of robbery, three counts of aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified and using a motor vehicle without insurance.

The alleged offences were committed as staff from a security firm tried to install a monitoring device as part of bail conditions imposed in separate proceedings.

A detective told the court: "A van belonging to G4S was stolen when they went out to tag his property".

Kerr was located and arrested later at the home of another member of his family.

Defence solicitor Michael Brentnall said his client disputes the robbery charge.

"It's a bizarre turn of events," the lawyer acknowledged.

District Judge Alana McSorley responded: "Bizarre is one way of describing it, outrageous is another".

Refusing to release the accused on bail again, she questioned: "How could a court be satisfied that he would adhere to conditions?"

Kerr was remanded into custody until February 15.

Northern Ireland news