Man '˜prevented burial of dead neighbour'

An alleged burglar prevented the burial of an elderly neighbour who lay dead in her west Belfast home for more than two years, a court has heard.

Monday, 6th November 2017, 1:30 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 9:18 pm
Marie Conlon lay dead in her Larkspur Rise home for more than two years

Robert Sharkey is accused of breaking into 68-year-old Marie Conlon’s flat at Larkspur Rise and stealing her bank card and cash.

Ms Conlon’s body was only discovered in a bed at the property last month.

The last known sighting of the pensioner was in January 2015.

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Sharkey, a 23-year-old with an address at the same complex in Larkspur Rise, appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court to face five charges.

They include preventing the lawful burial of a corpse between January 2015 and October 6, 2017.

He is also accused of the theft of a bank card and fraud by false representation – allegedly through using Ms Conlon’s bank details.

Two alleged burglaries on dates between April 2015 and March 2016 involved stealing batteries, a screwdriver, a mug and £50 in cash.

Sharkey is not charged with any offence related to Ms Conlon’s death.

He spoke only once during the brief court appearance. Asked if he understood the alleged offences, he replied: “Yes.”

Defence solicitor Charlene Dempsey told District Judge Fiona Bagnall the accused worked as a carer.

She confirmed that he is currently unable to return to his home at Larkspur Rise due to the ongoing proceedings.

Sharkey was released on continuing bail to another address. He is due back in court in six weeks time.