Defendant said to have 45 convictions

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Bail was refused last week in the case of a 28-year-old man charged with burglary and attempted burglary at business premises in Lurgan.

James John Bell, Hill Street, Lurgan, appeared last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court by way of videolink from Maghaberry prison.

It is alleged that on January 14 this year he entered as a trespasser Zsa Zsa Turkish barbers, High Street, Lurgan, and stole £60 in cash.

He is also charged with two attempted burglaries at Barnardo’s charity shop and Harvest Fruit and Veg in High Street between January 14 and January 15 this year. Bell also faces an allegation that he entered as a trespasser Howard Abraham’s garage on the Avenue Road and stole £60 during the same dates.

A barrister representing the defendant said he had been refused bail in May and at that stage he faced four charges in the magistrates’ court and had now served sentences for those offences.

A police officer said that bail would be opposed. She explained that Bell was in the repeat offenders unit and there was a risk of re-offending. He had 45 previous convictions. The officer added that a bail address, that of the defendant’s father in Cookstown, had been put forward but police considered this unsuitable.

Bell’s barrister said his client had provided three addresses and they all had been deemed unsuitable by the police.

District Judge, Mr Peter King, said he was not going to grant bail because there was no suitable address and the defendant’s record gave him concern.

He fixed a preliminary enquiry date for October 7 and remanded Bell to appear again by way of videolink on September 23.