DCSIMG

Chef ‘threatened to burn down father’s west Belfast home’

The accused appeared in Belfast Magistrates' Court

The accused appeared in Belfast Magistrates' Court

A chef allegedly threatened to burn down his father’s home after arriving to find the locks had been changed, a court heard on Tuesday.

Stephen Austin grabbed a container with petrol in it and started kicking a door at the west Belfast house, police claimed.

The 25-year-old faces charges of attempted criminal damage, threats to damage property endangering life, and criminal damage to a police vehicle.

Austin, of no fixed address, was arrested at the scene on Divis Drive on Monday.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he had turned up at his father’s house but was no longer welcome there.

A police constable said that when Austin tried to get in with his key he discovered the locks had been changed.

The accused allegedly shouted: “If you don’t open this door in 10 seconds I’m going to burn you down and I’m going to wreck your car.”

According to the officer Austin’s father then watched as he went to the garage and lifted a container with petrol in it.

It was claimed that he returned to kick the door, threatening: “I’m going to smoke your jeep.”

Austin also allegedly threw an object at the house without causing any damage before being arrested.

One of the charges against him relates to claims that he spat inside the police vehicle.

The court heard he denied that allegation, stating he had returned home from a concert and just wanted to go to bed.

Opposing bail, the officer said police believe he may commit further offences if released.

But a defence lawyer insisted he could live with his partner in Crumlin, Co Antrim.

Granting bail on condition that the address is approved by police, District Judge Amanda Henderson banned Austin going near the family home or contacting the alleged victim.

His solicitor replied: “He says he has no reason to be there. He accepts the deterioration in the relationship with his father.”

Austin is due to appear in court again on September 22.

 
 
 

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