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No bail for man suspected of being involved in up to 10 burglaries in Armagh and Tyrone

Defence said prosecution's case hinged on one 'grainy' photo from a doorbell where 'you can't even see if the individual in the image has a nose'

A man suspected of having been involved in up to 10 burglaries in counties Armagh and Tyrone has been refused bail.

The 38-year-old’s barrister launched the application after receiving photographic evidence, which he claims the prosecution case “hinges” on.

John Joseph Connors, of Ganna Way in Warrenpoint,  is charged with three counts of burglary of a dwelling, three counts of burglary with intent to steal and attempted burglary with intent to steal.

At Newry Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Lisburn, on Wednesday, defence barrister Sean Mullan made it known that the case had been listed for the purpose of a bail application.

The particulars outline that all these alleged offences occurred between November 19 and December 3 of last year.

They relate to properties in the areas of Cullyhanna, Co Armagh, and Sixmilecross and Creggan in Co Tyrone.

At a previous bail hearing, prosecution outlined that the defendant was suspected of having been involved in up to 10 burglaries.

Speaking on Wednesday, prosecution stated that on the bail form there had been no outline of a change of circumstances.

He said that the defence had commented that an image which allegedly connects the defendant to the offence was “grainy” but concluded this did not constitute a change insisting the bail application “should not proceed”.

Court heard that Connors had previously been denied bail by both the Magistrates’ and the High Court.

Mr Mullan stated: “We have now received the photographic evidence which this whole case allegedly hinges on, which is one snapshot off a doorbell camera.

“We would say it is poor at best, you can’t even see if the individual in the image has a nose.”

He continued: “The vast majority of the prosecution’s submissions relate to the co-accused. Mr Connors was refused bail for risk of reoffending at the High Court.

“It is accepted he has a poor record, with serious offences, but this is a man who has now been in custody for seven months of actual time and we still do not have a PE date.”

District Judge Amanda Brady commented: “You have told me that the prosecution case hinges on a single doorbell photograph but he is accused of burgling six different premises, that seems very unlikely.

“I think that just because a photograph has become available and you question the quality of it is not a change of circumstances.”

Bail was refused and the case was adjourned until July 29.

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