An alleged restaurant burglar claims he became trapped inside a fridge while looking for toilets, the High Court heard today.
Sean McAvoy told police he got lost inside The Bank Bar and Bistro in Newry.
The 21-year-old faces a charge of burglary with intent to steal from the venue at Trevor Hill in the city on May 31.
During a bail application prosecuting counsel said the door on an industrial fridge had been extensively damaged and food thrown all over the kitchen floor.
A mobile phone found inside it by the bar manager went to the accused’s Facebook profile when switched on, the court heard.
McAvoy, of Chequer Hill in Newry, was said to have been barred from the premises two years previously.
He was arrested at his home after police viewed CCTV footage of the alleged incident.
It was claimed that he said to officers: “Is it because of the Bank? I was locked in the fridge.”
Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan was told McAvoy claimed to have got lost while going to the bathroom.
But according to the prosecution the toilets are located in another part of the complex.
“He stated that any damage to the fridge was caused when he panicked and couldn’t get out,” the lawyer added.
McAvoy claimed he eventually managed to get out and exit through a fire door.
Opposing bail, the prosecutor said McAvoy has drink and drug problems and may not comply with any release conditions.
However, Sir Declan adjourned the application for a report to be prepared on the accused’s compliance with separate requirements.
He directed that the case be listed again in two weeks’ time.