Burglary accused identified by his ears - court told

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A man accused of stealing almost £3,000 which was raised for ‘charitable purposes’ was identified by his ears, a court has heard.

Stephen Holmes, whose address was given as Greeves Park, Strabane, is charged with burglary and theft and converting criminal property on November 8.

Derry Magistrates Court heard allegations that Rochesters Bar in the Ebrington Centre was broken into shortly after 1pm on Friday and almost £3,000 was stolen.

The money was fundraising from a boxing match which was to be distributed to community-based clubs in the Waterside.

Police viewed CCTV from the bar and the investigating officer said he was able to identify Holmes from his ‘walk, his ears and his hairstyle’.

The court heard officers were unable to locate Holmes at his address in Strabane. However they found him a short time later in the Strathfoyle area.

It is alleged that police found receipts from over £400 worth of items bought on Friday afternoon and £250 on another male.

The court was told that during police interview Holmes denied the burglary of Rochesters Bar or that he was in the Waterside area at the time.

Opposing bail, the officer said police believe the 30-year-old will commit further offences if released.

District Judge Barney McElholm refused bail, stating it concerned him that “this was money raised for charitable purposes”.

He said there is over £2,00 still out there and he has “severe concerns” the defendant would commit further offences.

Holmes was remanded in custody and will appear in court again via videolink on November 28.