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Man allegedly threw petrol bomb at staff after being kicked out of pub, court told

An altercation started in Black’s Bar over claims that Stephen Dalton had tried to pour his own pint

Watch: CCTV shows petrol bomb being thrown inside Belfast shop

Alan Erwin

A north Belfast man allegedly threw a petrol bomb at staff inside a shop after being asked to leave a neighbouring pub, a court heard today.

Stephen Dalton is accused of lighting the device and hurling it at the feet of a member of staff in the convenience store near Carlisle Circus on Monday evening.

The 39-year-old, of Fairfax Court, appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court on charges of arson, throwing a petrol bomb, attempted grievous bodily harm, common assault, threats to damage property and theft of alcohol.

Police said an altercation started in Black’s Bar on the Antrim Road over claims that Dalton had tried to pour his own pint.

He was told to leave the pub but allegedly responded by making racist and threatening comments towards staff.

Moments later Dalton allegedly returned to the area and entered an adjoining Spar store carrying a bottle and rags, according to an investigating detective.

CCTV footage showed others fleeing before the device was lit and thrown on the floor in the direction of a member of staff who sustained a cut heel from the shattered glass.

The fire was extinguished but caused scorch damage to the counter area.

Dalton faces further charges of assault on police and resisting arrest over claims he attempted to strike an officer after being put in a PSNI car.

Bail was opposed due to concerns for the public’s safety.

“He is alleged to have gone into a store and thrown a petrol bomb at the feet of a staff member,” the detective said.

Defence counsel Turlough Madden acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations but insisted his client should be presumed innocent.

“Mr Dalton is quite a vulnerable man,” the barrister added.

Refusing bail, District Judge Steven Keown identified risks of re-offending, interference with witnesses and harm to the public.

He remanded Dalton in custody to appear again by video-link on June 14.

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