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Bail Man accused of holding a knife to the throat of an OAP with learning difficulties

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Charges: Joseph McDonnell,

Charges: Joseph McDonnell,

Charges: Joseph McDonnell,

This is the man accused of holding a knife to the throat of an OAP with learning difficulties during an alleged 15-minute crime-spree.

Joseph McDonnell is facing a raft of charges following three incidents which all took place within minutes in Antrim last December 4.

Prosecutors claimed the 70-year-old man was among three victims targeted by McDonnell – who told police he had been on a three-day drink and drug binge but denied any involvement.

The 25-year-old of Suffolk Square in Antrim is accused of carrying out the early morning break-in, trying to seize a resident’s wallet and then raiding a convenience store.

He faces charges of aggravated burglary and theft, robbery, attempted robbery, possession of an offensive weapon and threats to kill.

During a recent bail application Crown lawyer Mark Farrell claimed up to three men broke into a flat at Donore Crescent where the pensioner with complex learning difficulties lives.

“One of them put a knife to the injured party’s throat and demanded money,” he said. A watch and £13 in cash were stolen from his home. One of the intruders also quizzed him about any medication he had in the property, according to the prosecution.

Within minutes a second alleged victim was approached as he defrosted his car on the adjoining Rathmore Gardens.

“A man appeared out of nowhere holding a knife and said ‘give me your wallet’,” Mr Farrell submitted.

Five minutes later a nearby Spar store was targeted as it opened up to begin trading. A man with his nose and mouth covered entered brandished a knife and demanded money from the till.

McDonnell was arrested following an alleged identification on the shop’s CCTV system.

Granting bail for McDonnell to live at an address in Crumlin, Mr Justice Simpson decided any concerns can be managed by a series of conditions. He banned the accused from entering Antrim or contacting any witnesses in the case.

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