A ROBBERY suspect found hiding in an attic by police was described as an “escapologist” by a defence lawyer as he was later able to wriggle free of handcuffs before assaulting a PSNI officer.
Kyle Parke (27), of Heronshaw in Bushmills, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court via video link from prison and pleaded guilty to assaulting the policeman.
The defendant’s charge sheet was previously split with the assault matter staying in the Magistrates Court.
He is due to be arraigned in October at Antrim Crown Court on charges accusing him of robbing a filling station of £975 and cigarettes and tobacco in Coleraine and possessing an offensive weapon – a knife – with intent to commit robbery in relation to January this year.
A previous court heard Parke was found hiding in an attic “wrapped in roof space insulating material”.
A defence lawyer told the earlier court Parke was in the roof space because he knew he was past a bail curfew.
The lawyer said although it was winter at the time, being wrapped in the insulating material meant the defendant “certainly wouldn’t have been cold”.
At this week’s court, a prosecutor said police were looking for Parke and when he was not at his home in Bushmills in breach of his bail he was then found in the attic of a female’s house in Coleraine.
The prosecutor said Parke refused to come down from the roof space and when officers eventually got him out of the attic he was “drowsy” and was taken to hospital where he began spitting and an officer feared being headbutted.
Defence barrister Alan Stewart told court this week: “It seems that Mr Parke was somewhat of an escapologist. He managed to remove his hands from handcuffs whilst his hands were under a blanket”.
He said Parke had a “lamentable criminal record” and had been in custody since February and then became a sentenced prisoner in respect of other matters.
In prison, he said Parke is now studying English and Maths, cooking and painting and decorating.
At this week’s court the defendant was given a two months prison term on the assault charge.