Man accused of carrying out burglary armed with a hammer is granted anonymity by court

Police believe he had been targeted by ‘a mob’ in retaliation for the break-in, according to legal papers

A man accused of carrying out a creeper-style burglary armed with a hammer in west Belfast has been granted anonymity amid claims of a potential risk to his life.

Reporting restrictions were imposed after the 29-year-old appeared in court over his alleged involvement in the raid on a home in the early hours of January 23rd.

He is charged with aggravated burglary to steal bank cards and car keys from the house at Glenalina Park.

The defendant faces further counts of possessing an offensive weapon in public, namely a hammer, common assault and having quantities of cocaine and diazepam.


Prosecutors allege that he entered the house alongside a second man armed with a wheel brace.

The co-accused was taken to hospital for treatment to injuries sustained in a suspected attack by unidentified individuals before PSNI officers arrived on the scene.

Police believe he had been targeted by “a mob” in retaliation for the break-in, according to legal papers.

Fears were raised that the defendant could be at a similar risk of attack if released from custody.

Those issues were raised during his first appearance at Belfast Magistrates’ Court.

Defence lawyers argued that revealing his identity in connection with the alleged offences would create a real and immediate risk to his life, contrary to Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

District Judge Steven Keown granted an interim anonymity order, prohibiting publication of anything which could identify the defendant.

Bail was also refused on the grounds of risk of re-offending and interference with witnesses, the Court Service confirmed.

Remanding the accused in custody until February 21st, Judge Keown directed that advance notification should be given of any challenge to the reporting restrictions.