Alleged burglar in teacher death case put into custody

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An alleged burglar was remanded in custody today accused of stealing a car belonging to a former teacher later found dead at her home.

Marc Samuel Spencer, 24, appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court charged with a number of offences, including a break-in at Lismoyne Park in the north of the city.

The body of 64-year-old May Stevens was discovered by police inquiring about her car allegedly being stolen earlier last Sunday morning.

Spencer, of Centenary House in the city, is not charged with any offences connected to Mrs Stevens’ death, which is no longer being treated as suspicious.

He faces counts of carrying out a burglary at Lismoyne Park to steal a handbag and car keys, aggravated vehicle taking in relation to the Hyundai 130 driven dangerously in the area, driving while disqualified and failing to stop for police.

Spencer is further charged with another burglary at Kelvin Parade and two attempted burglaries at Cavehill Drive and a separate Lismoyne Park property on the same night.

He is also accused of burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving in relation to a separate incident on February 14.

Police said they detained two men after an Audi A1 was stopped in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast.

The vehicle was allegedly stolen during an earlier break-in at Blackrock Park Avenue in Newtownabbey

Spencer did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody to appear again on March 16, the Courts Service said.

A co-accused, 23-year-old Jack Robinson, of Carrs Glen Park in Belfast, appeared on charges related only to the February 14 incident.

He faces counts of burglary at Blackrock Park Avenue and aggravated vehicle taking causing damage to the Audi.

He was granted conditional bail.