Would-be bus thief fell asleep, court told

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Court news
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A man who fell asleep on a bus he allegedly tried to steal was refused bail on Saturday as he is “a danger to himself and others”.

Objecting to 20-year-old John Joseph McMahon being granted bail, a PSNI officer told Belfast Magistrates’ Court that with almost 130 previous convictions, coupled with drink and drug addictions, “he appears to have no concern for the consequences of his actions so is a danger to both himself and others”.

“He passed out on the bus he attempted to steal so, given the circumstances, it’s alarming to think about the consequences that may have ensued if he had managed to steal the bus,” said the policeman.

McMahon, from the Antrim Road in Belfast, is charged with trying to steal a double decker bus, the theft of two mobile phones from O2, causing criminal damage to a phone belonging to O2, possessing class B cannabis and attempting to steal a rucksack, all alleged to have occurred on February 19.

He is further charged with using disorderly behaviour at the Royal Victoria Hospital on February 20.

In objecting to bail, the officer outlined how McMahon had numerous breaches of bail and court orders, adding that he is currently under two suspended jail terms for burglary and theft and was only released from custody last month.

McMahon’s solicitor said he had instructed her that he would abide by any bail conditions set by the court but District Judge Harry McKibbin told the solicitor it was “very difficult for me to say that there’s any chance of him keeping to conditions”.

It was for that reason and the risk of further offences that the judge refused bail, prompting foul-mouthed outbursts from both McMahon and his mother.

McMahon is due back before the court via video link on March 20.