Bail refused to Belfast car hijacking accused


A 23-year-old west Belfast man with 72 previous convictions has been refused bail after he appeared in court on charges arising from a city-centre hijacking.

Gavin Gerard Francis Wilson, from Lady Street in the Divis area of the city, had eight charges levelled against him at Belfast Magistrates’ Court dating back to a hijacking on April 1.

The offences include aggravated vehicle taking causing damage, dangerous driving and failing to report an accident.

Revealing that Wilson came before the court with 72 previous convictions and that police objected to bail, a PSNI constable said that Wilson is currently on licence for a hijacking offence and has breached bail conditions in the past.

Saying it was the police’s case that Wilson was linked to the hijacked vehicle via forensic evidence in the form of his DNA found on the steering wheel, the officer said that the Toyota MR2 and its female driver were targeted in the Kent Street area.

Seeking bail for Wilson, his solicitor branded the prosecution case against him as “weak” and asked District Judge Fiona Bagnall to consider a “presumption of innocence”.

However, Ms Bagnall said that “compelling” forensic evidence linking Wilson to the vehicle coupled with his criminal record indicated there was a “strong likelihood of reoffending”. She remanded Wilson in custody until August 5.