Man in court on car hi-jack charges

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

A man who took a driving licence as he hijacked a car at Ballymena Train Station allegedly told the victim if he reported the matter to police he would go to his house and “kill him”.

The claim was made at Ballymena Magistrates Court by a police officer who objected to Anthony Craig (23), of Woodgreen Park, Shankbridge, being released on bail.

Craig is currently in custody in relation to an alleged hijacking of a car at a park and ride facility beside Ballymena Station last December.

Craig is charged with hijacking; driving whilst disqualified; absence of insurance; failing to stop for police at Fountain Hill in Antrim town; theft of alcohol and cigarettes and making a threat to kill the car owner.

Craig is also facing charges connected to another alleged incident including making threats to kill a man following an incident on Sunday October 16 last year at a flat at Barra Street in the Springfarm estate in Antrim town.

He faces a total of five charges in relation to that with the others being: making threats to damage the man’s flat and causing criminal damage to a tv, windows, hi-fi and other household items belonging to the man.

He is charged with aggravated burglary with intent to commit unlawful damage by having a weapon of offence - which was not named on the court papers - and burglary by stealing a tv at the flat.

Craig appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday via video link from Maghaberry Jail and applied for bail.

The police officer said Craig had 32 previous convictions and because of issues with alcohol he believed he would be a high risk of re-offending if released.

The officer said there had previously been four warrants for fines; four previous arrest warrants and five previous breaches of bail concerning Craig.

Defence barrister Andrew Moriarty said Craig had a “substance dependence” as well as alcohol issues and said if released he could immediately report to his GP and be returned to drugs counselling.

The barrister said Craig could report daily to police and be tested for substances.

Mr Moriarty said Craig has a job offer to help his grandfather who is a self-employed delivery driver and the long-term ambition was that the accused could “ultimately take over the reins” of the business.

The court was told Craig is currently a sentenced prisoner on other matters with a release date of March 23 although he has built up home leave of five days and could get out on March 18.

That being the case, District Judge Peter King said he would adjourn the bail application until the March 16 sitting of Ballymena Court.