Man '˜ransacked former foster carer's home'

A man accused of ransacking his former foster carer's home and attacking her partner was detained as he returned again armed with a meat cleaver, the High Court has heard.

Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 6:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 6:21 pm

Prosecutors claimed Kelvin Kane was covered in blood and on his way back to the property in Coleraine, Co Londonderry for a third time in the space of hours.

The 23-year-old, of Whitehall Avenue in Ballycastle, Co Antrim, denies charges of burglary, theft, common assault and possession of an offensive weapon in public over the incidents on April 9.

Adjourning his bail application, a judge requested a full mental health assessment.

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The court was told a woman in her fifties who lives alone at the house on Strand Road had previously been Kane’s foster carer.

She returned home to discover the patio doors smashed, two televisions, an iPad, digital camera and cash stolen, and the upstairs area ransacked.

The TV sets were discovered covered in mud a short distance away.

Crown lawyer Natalie Pinkerton claimed Kane came back while the woman’s partner was trying to repair some of the damage and offered him a fight.

She alleged the defendant assaulted the man before fleeing again, covered in blood.

Police were then alerted that a man matching Kane’s description had left a B&M Bargains store in the town after stealing a meat cleaver.

“It’s believed he was travelling back to the injured party’s property,” Ms Pinkerton said.

“He was detained with the meat cleaver, this would have been the third time returning.”

A television remote control and camera allegedly found on him were linked to the burgled house, she added.

The court also heard a taxi company provided a statement that they had collected Kane from a bar to take him to the address earlier in the day.

Forensic tests are still being carried out on blood and footwear impressions found at the property.

A defence barrister confirmed: “He doesn’t accept the allegations that are being made.”

Counsel also disclosed Kane has been battling with addiction issues and mental health problems.

It was contended, however, that the accused had managed to hold down a labouring job with a construction company until he was charged with offences.

Putting the bail application on hold, Lord Justice Treacy said: “I don’t know enough about his mental health background.”