Man with 190 previous convictions who allegedly broke into monastery is refused bail

The monastery in Portglenone

A MAN with 190 previous convictions who is accused of a series of middle-of-the-night break-ins at Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey monastery in Portglenone has been refused bail after District Judge Nigel Broderick said there was a “high risk of further offences”.

Gareth Steven Patrick Hyndman (43), whose address was given as Coleraine Street in Kilrea, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday via video link from prison where he has been on remand for over five months.

The defendant is accused of stealing £600 during a burglary at the monastery on January 25 this year; on January 30 he allegedly stole £5 in cash and a key during a break-in and he is further charged with burglary of the monastery with intent to steal on February 15.

The defendant is also accused of the attempted burglary of the monastery with intent to steal on March 24.

A prosecutor said the case file has been received from police but there was a request to add a forensics report to the file.

The court heard DNA from the defendant was on a pick axe handle and although Hyndman refused to provide a DNA sample in connection with the current case there was a sample on record.

The matter has been adjourned to September 26.

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