Man on trial for knifepoint phone theft


A 36-year-old man from Cheshire has gone on trial at Belfast Crown Court charged with stealing a student’s mobile phone at knifepoint.

The accused – Adrian Naylor from Greenway Road in the Widnes area – denies robbing a Motorola MotoG phone from a Queen’s University student who was making his way home to Elms Village along the Malone Road in the early hours of October 1 last year.

Prosecutor Simon Jenkins said the theft occurred at the Lennoxvale area of the Malone Road.

The student was walking back to halls when he saw a man on the other side of the road playing a guitar. The student approached the man – who the Crown say was Naylor – and they struck up a conversation.

Mr Jenkins said that during the conversation, the man told the student his name was Adrian, and that the student took his mobile out and used a guitar tuning app on the phone to try and get a better sound from the instrument.

The pair also talked about the leather jacket the man was wearing, and after around 10 minutes of chatting, the student resumed his walk back to Elms Village.

It was at this point, Mr Jenkins told the jury, that Naylor “brandished a kitchen knife and demanded the student’s mobile phone”.

Once the phone was handed over, Naylor walked off in the direction of Botanic Inn.

When he got to Elms Village, the student alerted members of Queen’s security staff about the theft and gave a description of the thief – a man wearing a leather jacket and carrying a guitar.

A security guard wearing a body cam drove along the Malone Road and saw a man fitting that description walking on to Wellington Park. He was able to alert a passing police vehicle and Naylor was apprehended.

Naylor was searched by police and no knife was found on his person. And while the stolen phone was also not found on him, it was located in the garden of a house adjacent to where he was stopped by police.

Naylor was arrested and taken to Musgrave Street PSNI station, where he gave a largely ‘no comment’ interview.

At hearing.