Drunk man ’caused disturbances’ before allegedly stealing bowling balls from sheltered housing complex on his 40th birthday

The sheltered housing accommodation where Masterson is accused of stealing bowling balls.

A drunk man accused of causing disturbances at businesses in Larne before stealing two bowling balls from the McNeill Court sheltered housing complex in the town on his 40th birthday has been remanded in custody.

John Masterson, with an address given as Curran Road in Larne, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court to face two charges.

He was accused of burglary at McNeill Court at Main Street in Larne when items taken included two bowling balls and also possession of Diazepam.

A police officer objected to bail saying the PSNI received a report of an incident at Maud’s ice cream shop in Larne and then there was a further incident involving an “extremely intoxicated” male at the Jade House takeaway where Masterson was said to have been causing a nuisance.

He threw a plant pot onto a footpath and caused damage to a payphone at McNeill Court on Main Street, the court was told.

At one stage Masterson was said to have “attempted to scare” a resident by lunging towards her and then he opened a box of indoor bowls and smashed a window, the court was told.

Masterson, the police officer said, had left behind ID, a mobile phone and money.

When interviewed, the defendant said he was “sorry” for what had happened.

The court heard the defendant had a “substantial” record and that he had appeared at court the previous week in relation to the theft of a crossbow from an angling store in Larne.

Sentencing in that case had been deferred to November.

Defence barrister Ben Thompson told Thursday’s Court there were “aspects” of the latest allegations the defendant did not agree with.

He said Masterson, an alcoholic, had received a recent cancer diagnosis, and on his 40th birthday he had a scheduled colonoscopy.

The lawyer said the defendant had been “dealing with a stressful life event which obviously, on Tuesday, got the better of him”.

Mr Thompson said independent living wasn’t working for the defendant and he proposed that he could return to live with his mother in Belfast.

District Judge Nigel Broderick refused bail saying the defendant had been given a chance to prove himself at court the previous week “but sadly that has not borne fruit”.

The case was adjourned to July.

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