Teenager accused of possessing bottle of suspected ammonia as an offensive weapon in Ballymena jewellery shop raid has matter further adjourned

An incident occurred at Robin Adair Jewellers in the summer. Picture: Google Maps.

A TEENAGER accused of possessing a bottle of suspected ammonia as an offensive weapon with intent to commit grievous bodily harm in connection with a raid at a jewellery shop in Ballymena town centre has had the matter further adjourned at Ballymena Magistrates Court.

Curtis Dunlop (18), with an address listed as Pinegrove Park in the town, is also charged with stealing a Rotary watch valued at £239 from Robin Adair Jewellers.

An earlier court hearing heard it alleged two men targeted Robin Adair Jewellers in June this year and that Dunlop was allegedly carrying a bottle of what was suspected to be ammonia and asked to try on a watch.

He then ran out of the shop with the watch but was apprehended by a member of the public, according to police.

Footage had also emerged on social media of a second raider apparently running from the shop carrying a tray.

Opposing Dunlop’s application for bail at the earlier hearing, a PSNI constable expressed concern about the suspected ammonia.

She confirmed, however, that the liquid was never brandished inside the jewellers.

Also at the earlier court, a defence solicitor insisted the bottle had been placed on the ground with no attempt to threaten staff.

The solicitor said: “He says he was placed under duress by an older individual… and was given the glass jar containing ammonia shortly before they went into the shop.”

At the court in the summer District Judge Mark Hamill described the alleged possession of ammonia as “deeply concerning”.

But granting bail to Dunlop, Mr Hamill had ordered: “He’s barred from the town centre of Ballymena.”

The case was back on the list at Ballymena Magistrates Court this week where a prosecutor said the papers in the matter were emailed to the defence in July.

A defence barrister asked if the matter could be adjourned to mid-October to get the “attitude” of the defendant to the charges.

The defendant is also charged with burglary with intent to steal at Tardree Grove in Ballymena on April 20 this year and the barrister said he believed that charge was to be contested.

That case was adjourned to the end of October.

The defence lawyer applied for legal aid saying the defendant is on benefits.

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