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Pair charged in relation to Newtownhamilton burglary to face Crown Court

One of the accused is also charged with being in possession of a knife at Dundalk Street in Newtownhamilton

A man and a woman who face charges relating to the burglary of a Co Armagh house in November, last year, will face Crown Court proceedings next month.

The defendants appeared at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, for the purposes of a preliminary enquiry (PE), the legal process during which a case is referred to the higher court.

James Maughan, 40, of Eskdale Gardens in Belfast, is charged with being unlawfully at large, aggravated taking causing damage to a vehicle, driving whilst disqualified, theft, making off without paying, burglary, possession of a bladed article in a public place and attempted theft of a vehicle.

Meanwhile, Lena McDonagh, 31, of the same address, is accused of allowing herself to be carried along with aiding and abetting burglary.

As the charges were read, it was heard that the majority of these offences were alleged to have occurred on November 1 and 2, of last year.

Maughan is accused of taking a Volkswagen Golf without the consent of the owner and causing damage to the same on November 1.

McDonagh is charged with allowing herself to be carried in this car, which she knew had been been taken without the consent of the owner.

On that same date, Maughan is further alleged to have stolen blocks and sticks to the value of £12.99  belonging to Moy Road Filling Station, along with making off without paying for £55.33 worth of fuel.

He is further accused of attempting to steal a motor vehicle on the same date again.

On November 2, Maughan is accused of entering a house on Dundalk Street, Newtownhamilton, as a trespasser and stealing car keys therein.

Meanwhile, McDonagh is charged with aiding and abetting the commission of this offence by her co-accused.

Maughan also faces a further charge which relates to possessing a knife at Dundalk Street, Newtownhamilton.

With McDonagh appearing in court and Maughan via videolink from Maghaberry, both made no objection to the holding of a preliminary enquiry.

Prosecution submitted that based on the papers before the court there was a prima facie case to answer.

Defence counsel made no contrary submissions.

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer said that he was satisfied there was a prima facie case to answer.

Maughan was remanded in custody and McDonagh was released on her own bail of £500 to appear before Newry Crown Court on May 27 for arraignment.

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