A man alleged to have stolen a car during a shop robbery in east Donegal before attacking pensioners in their Castlederg home has been refused bail.
Mark Loughrey (33), of no fixed abode, appeared before a special sitting of Dungannon Magistrates Court this morning.
He was charged with entering a house as a trespasser, assaulting the elderly male and female occupants, stealing car keys, taking a car without the owner’s consent, driving while unfit through drink or drugs and without insurance.
Loughrey was refused bail as District Judge Michael Ranaghan deemed him to pose a “genuine risk to the public”.
When arrested and searched, the €500 cash, believed to have been stolen in Donegal, and keys to the jeep were recovered.
He made no comment during police interview.
Objecting to bail, the detective said Loughery is already on bail for similar matters involving an alleged stolen vehicle in the Belfast area.
Bail was objected to on the grounds of concerns of witness interference and further offending.
The court was told he has 97 previous convictions “many of which are relevant.”
A defence solicitor conceded his client’s previous record was problematic but urged bail to be granted with strict conditions to manage any risks.
Judge Ranaghan however refused stating, “The alleged offences are very serious involving assaults on two elderly people.
The defendant represents a genuine risk to the public and I have significant concerns.”
Loughrey will appear again by video-link at Strabane Magistrates Court next month.