Burglary accused released on bail

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A 38-year-old woman has appeared in court accused of possessing guns allegedly stolen from a bar in Newtownstewart.

Charleen Holden, of Distillery Close, is charged with burglary with intent on January 17.

She is further charged with possessing two shot guns, a rifle and two thousands rounds of ammunition.

The 38-year-old is further accused of possessing a class A drug on January 19.

An investigating officer told Derry Magistrates Court she believed she could connect the defendant to the charges.

Holden wept in court as the allegations were outlined.

It is alleged a man went into Conway’s Bar, Newtownstewart, and stole a gun cabinet.

This cabinet contained a rifle, two shot guns and ammunition.

These items were allegedly put into a car registered to Holden. The court was told during police interview she admitted being there and putting the gun cabinet into her car.

However, she refused to provide police with the name of the man.

Police searched Holden’s home and allegedly found the gun cabinet, but the guns and ammunition were not seized.

A small quantity of white powder was also allegedly found which the defendant said was speed.

Opposing bail, the investigating officer said police are concerned that the guns are still missing.

She added that they are actively seeking the man and as yet are unable to establish whether the alleged incident is ‘linked to criminality or terrorism’.

The officer also told the court police fear the 38-year-old will interfere with witnesses or leave the jurisdiction.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client has no criminal convictions whatsoever.

He told the court Holden is a ‘vulnerable’ individual who has had issues with alcohol addiction in the past.

The 38-year-old’s mother was also called to give evidence to the court.

She said her family are ‘devastated’ that Holden has appeared before the court accused of these offences.

She also confirmed that if her daughter breached bail she would contact police straight away.

Deputy District Judge Ted Magill released Holden on her own bail of £500 to reside in Bradley’s Park.

Her mother must also act as a surety.

Holden is banned from entering Newtownstewart, ordered to abide by a curfew and sign bail three times a week.

She must also surrender her passport and not leave Northern Ireland.

Holden will appear in court again on February 18.