Bail refused in Ballykeel burglary case

Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC
Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC

A Ballymena man charged with a burglary in Orkney Drive has been refused bail by a local judge.

Christopher Tuff (34), of Staffa Drive, is charged with burglary, making threats to kill, possession of a knife, assaulting and resisting police, allegedly on October 12.

He is further charged with another count of burglary which is alleged to have taken place between July 2 and 3.

Tuff is also charged with three further counts of assault on police, assaulting a male and causing criminal damage, allegedly on October 13.

A police officer told Ballymena Magistrates Court that they could connect the defendant to the charges.

The officer said that they opposed bail due to concerns over re-offending and the strong likelihood of interfering with witnesses.

He added that the defendant had breached his bail by residing at an address not approved by court.

Regarding the October 12 charges, police told the court that an injured party alleged that upon returning to the Orkney Drive property with his elderly aunt, they found an unknown male in the process of stealing a television from the premises.

Police added that a “physical confrontation” took place between the injured party and the alleged burglar before he made off out the back door.

The court heard that a mobile telephone, a watch and a bracelet were missing from the property.

The officer then told the court that a witness who knew Tuff had claimed “the defendant had asked for a lift to a property in Shetland Gardens” and had “offered him a mobile phone to buy.”

Police said the witness also alleged that the defendant had a rucksack which contained a silver watch inside.

The court heard that police attended the property and two males outside said they understood that Tuff was inside in possession of a knife with a female.

The police officer said that a search of the property uncovered the items missing from the Orkney Drive property.

The officer alleged that when the defendant was arrested, he used “disorderly behaviour and spat at police.”

It was added that the defendant was taken to Causeway A+E on October 13 at his own request and it is alleged he further assaulted police officers there.

Defending barrister Stephen Law said the defendant had been on a cocktail of non-prescription drugs and alcohol and claimed Tuff had very little recollection of his actions.

Law added that Tuff had requested to be released immediately and referred to Holywell Hospital.

District Judge Des Perry denied this request and said that the court couldn’t have any confidence in Tuff sticking to bail conditions.

The case was adjourned to Ballymena Magistrates Court on October 22.