Two people – man and a boy aged 16 – appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Saturday in connection with an armed robbery

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This is the Dunluce Street Antiques shop in Portrush which was robbed on Friday. Picture – Google.

TWO people – a 22-year-old man and a 16-year-old youth – appeared in court in Ballymena on Saturday charged in connection with an armed robbery in which jewellery was stolen from a shop in the County Antrim seaside resort of Portrush.

The 22-year-old was named in court as Gioni Muntean, of no fixed address.

The youth, who cannot be named because of his age, also has no fixed address.

They are both charged with robbing Dunluce Street Antiques in Portrush of jewellery on Friday.

They are also both charged with possession of an offensive weapon – a knife – with intent to commit an indictable offence, namely robbery.

Both accused stood in the dock with their arms folded as the charges were read.

The proceedings were relayed to both through a Romanian language interpreter.

A PSNI detective constable told the court he believed he could connect both accused to the charges.

A defence solicitor for the youth said the only bail address he had was in England and police had at that stage been unable to check its suitability.

Another solicitor for Muntean said his client had the same issue.

He added the defendant had only “very recently” come to Northern Ireland.

The police officer said the man and youth had no criminal records in Northern Ireland and further enquiries were being made in England and internationally.

After hearing from the officer, District Judge Nigel Broderick said there were issues about confirming the identities of the accused and confirming addresses which he said was “fundamental” to bail.

The judge said he was not going to proceed with bail applications at that court sitting because police needed to make enquiries in relation to the identity of the duo; addresses and sureties.

He said he was remanding them in custody to appear at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday.

Judge Broderick added: “The court may not be able to deal with bail then but the matter can be reviewed on Monday”.

Following the robbery on Friday, a police press release said “a member of staff was threatened during the incident but although not injured, he was left badly shaken”.


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