School threat accused in court

Police were sent to Elmgrove primary on Thursday
Police were sent to Elmgrove primary on Thursday

A homeless man has been remanded in custody charged with threatening to kill children at a Northern Ireland primary school.

Martyn James Price, 33 and of no fixed abode, appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court at the weekend charged with making the threat against pupils at Elmgrove Primary school in east Belfast.

The principal closed the school on Friday after being made aware of the matter.

The court heard that Price made a “threat to kill children” to staff working for an online gambling company on Thursday.

He is also charged with misusing a telecommunication network the previous day, criminal damage and possessing class B drugs, namely cannabis.

The criminal damage charge relates to a chair, table, kettle and lamp belonging to Apple.

During the brief hearing on Saturday, Price spoke only to confirm he understood the charges.

A detective told district judge George Conner she could connect the accused with the charges.

Long-haired Price, wearing a black T-shirt, sat impassively in the dock.

With his lawyer making no application for bail, judge Conner remanded him in custody to appear before the court via video link next Friday.

Parents of Elmgrove’s roughly 560 pupils were informed on Thursday evening that the school would close the following day due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

Price was arrested in Belfast later that night after police on both sides of the border launched a manhunt.