A man who allegedly told a wheelchair-user to “hand over the TV or get shot” claimed he arranged to take the television as part payment for a £200 debt, a court heard.
Robert McCamley (34), of Glenshesk Park, Portrush, faces two charges relating to August 1 this year.
He is accused of burglary at Glenbush Drive, Portrush, when a TV, mobile phone and £25 in cash were stolen.
The second charge is blackmail and the charge reads that with a view to gaining for himself or another, or with intent to cause loss to another, he made an unwarranted demand of “Hand over the TV or get shot”, or words to that effect, from the alleged injured party, with menaces.
The defendant appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court via video link from Maghaberry Prison where he has been on remand.
A police officer objected to bail fearing interference with witnesses.
The officer said it was alleged McCamley went to the man’s home and demanded money and when he was told there was no money the TV was taken which was recovered by police a short time later.
The officer said McCamley told police he was owed £200 from the alleged injured party and said they had “come to a decision together” that he would take the TV as part payment.
He claimed the mobile phone had been lent to him.
Defence barrister Alan Stewart said the men used to live together and McCamley had lent £200 before they “had a falling out”.
The lawyer said McCamley was out walking a dog when he had a chance encounter with the other man and when he asked for the money back the complainant said he didn’t have any cash and to “just take the TV”.
Mr Stewart said the defendant gave a full account to police and it was likely the charges will be contested.
Mr Stewart said McCamley had been in custody since August 2 and his client was concerned that he might lose his address in Portrush.
The lawyer said there had been some delay in the case files not yet being allocated and that the defendant had denied the charges from the outset.
The court heard the complainant has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair and has to rely on taxis which take him past McCamley’s address which was only around 100 metres away from his home.
District Judge Peter King said it was slightly concerning that the case file had not get yet been allocated and he noted that the defendant was still in custody on remand.
He said he took into account the defendant’s “terrible” record of 115 offences and he was aware the “physical wellbeing” of the complainant had to be considered.
He released McCamley on £500 bail to his address in Portrush to have no contact with the complainant and not to go within 100 metres of his house.
McCamley also has to sign bail at Coleraine Police Station.
Adjourning the case to November the judge told McCamley: “If there is any whiff of a bail breach I will have no difficulty in revoking your bail”.