Man jailed after 48-hour crime spree


A 21-year-old man who went on a 48-hour crime spree in Larne which included two street robberies was sentenced on Thursday after appearing in court.

Jordan Nike McAteer - whose address was given as Hydebank YOC - targeted a 63-year-old woman, a 19-year-old man and supermarket over a two-day period last April.

After appearing in the dock of Antrim Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, McAteer was handed a five-year sentence by Judge Stephen Fowler QC, who told him he would spend half the sentence in custody, with the remainder on supervised licence upon his release.

During Thursday’s sentence hearing, the court heard McAteer’s first victim was a 63-year-old woman, who was dragged across a car park before letting go of her handbag.

At around 8.30am on April 19 last year, the social worker was in a car park in Larne and was making her way to purchase a ticket when she was grabbed from behind.

McAteer made a grab for her handbag, but she held on to it and as a result she was brought to the ground and dragged across the car park.

He told her to let go of her bag, and when she saw his foot coming towards her face when she was on the ground, she let go. The stolen handbag contained around £130 as well as her phone, perfume and bank cards.

The woman sustained injuries in the robbery, which included bruising to her eye and a broken finger.

The following afternoon, McAteer stole alcohol from the Tesco store in Larne. The theft was captured on CCTV and when the footage was viewed and McAteer was identified, police arrived at the Simon Community where he was living. The stolen alcohol was found in his room and he was arrested.

Around six hours later, a 19-year-old man was approached by McAteer in the Broadway area of Larne. Armed with a knife, McAteer told the man he would cut his throat if he didn’t hand over money and bank cards. On this occasion, the victim handed over his mobile phone.

Following robbery, police returned to the Simon Community and again spoke to McAteer, who admitted his involvement. When he was arrested, he replied “Sweet. Spot on.”

During interviews, McAteer said he and another man had decided to “do a snatch” from someone who had just taken money from an ATM.

He also claimed that after stealing drink from Tesco, he had smoked a legal high and had taken Diazepam before carrying out the second robbery of the mobile phone.

Judge Fowler pointed out that McAteer had previous convictions which included offences for robbery and violence.

The judge also spoke of the need to protect members of the public who are going about their daily lives from street robberies such as the ones carried out by McAteer.

In addition, Judge Fowler said he accepted McAteer was only 20 at the time of the offences, that he had a history of mental health issues and substance abuse, and that he was of a “very low intelligence”.

McAteer was sentenced for a total of five offences which were carried out over a 48-hour period.