Man allegedly used shoe horn during attempted robbery at footwear shop in Ballymena

ciaran mckeown
Ciaran McKeown.

A man allegedly threatened staff in a footwear shop with a shoe horn in a failed attempt to get them to hand over cash from a till, Ballymena Magistrates Court heard.

Ciaran McKeown (24), of Glenravel Park in Ballymena, is charged with attempted robbery at the Fred Funk shop on the town’s Ballymoney Street on December 21 last year.

Defence solicitor John McAtamney said: “Unless he was going to prise open the till with a shoe horn it would be the first shoe horn robbery in history if that charge sticks.”

The defendant appeared via video link from Maghaberry Prison where he has been on remand on five charges.

The other charges include possessing three knives as offensive weapons in a public place; an attempted theft of clothing worth £255 at the TK Maxx store in Ballymena and going equipped for theft with a set of nail clippers and a magnetic strip.

the fred funk store in ballymena
The Fred Funk store in Ballymena.

Objecting to bail, a police officer said that at around 6pm on December 21 staff at Fred Funk reported to the PSNI a robbery was in progress and acting on a description police spoke to McKeown nearby and it was established he was under the influence of something.

During a search three knives were found in a shopping bag which were out of a cheese cutting set.

Staff at Fred Funk told police a suspect had lifted a shoe horn and demanded money and a number of knives could be seen in a bag.

Staff refused to hand over money.

The police officer said TK Maxx also reported that at around 5.15pm on December 21 the defendant cut a security tag from clothing with a set of nail cutters and then ran out.

During interview, the defendant told police he had been in both stores but denied offences.

McKeown admitted he was under the influence of a “significant amount of drugs”.

The police officer said he believed the defendant’s behaviour had been very erratic and believed he would be a “danger to the public” if released.

McKeown’s defence solicitor said his client had been out Christmas shopping and he had bought a cheese set for a family member and “never brandished” any knives.

Refusing bail, District Judge Nigel Broderick said McKeown had 108 previous convictions and had apparent addiction issues and he was concerned there was a risk of further offending.

The defendant was remanded in continuing custody and the case adjourned to February 7.

Leave a reply