Burglary accused was only on property because he needed a pee

The justice system
The justice system

A man accused of burgling an elderly lady’s Dungannon home has claimed he was only on the property because he was desperate for a pee.

Appearing before a bail hearing at East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday was John Patrick Nixon, 29, from Castle Hill in Dungannon.

He stands accused of the burglary of a Kalendra Court residence on January 7th.

A detective constable from the PSNI outlined how, on the evening in question, the injured party’s son had called over to her house and had gone out to a shed to turn on the heating.

As he did so he spotted a male exit the utility room of his mother’s house. He demanded to know what the man was doing there and who he was.

A struggle ensued as the son believed he had been in his 75-year-old mother’s home. Their grappling went from the house into a paved area where neighbours came to the aid of the injured party’s son.

A wallet and a purse were noted to have been found on the ground and the man was discovered in possession of a beanie and gloves.

The defendant, Mr Nixon, was subsequently arrested and interviewed by police.

He stated that he had been out for a walk to visit a friend on Bush Road, a person he has not visited in ten years, and that he got lost.

Caught short he entered the property as he was desperate for a pee and was about to do that when he was grabbed violently and pinned to the ground.

The officer told the court that police seized dark clothing worn by the defendant as well as a head-torch of which he denied possession.

He further denied attempting to steal from the house but admitted having previous convictions, stating that he was a changed man.

“He has a record and he has spent a considerable period of time in custody,” a solicitor for the defendant said.

“He has had a significant period free of offending since his release.

“He denies these offences and has an address agreed by police outside this area.

“His entrance to the area could be prohibited... and fear of witness interaction would be greatly alleviated.”

Refusing bail, District Judge John Meehan noted the defendant’s demeanour and actions during the video link broadcast from HMP Maghaberry.

He further stated that he believed the prosecution case to be a strong one.

“These are extremely traumatic events,” Judge Meehan told the court.

“I have to evaluate in a real sense... if there is a risk to other innocent people.

“Given his defiance, I must refuse bail,” he concluded.

Nixon was remanded in custody and will reappear before East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court by video link on February 8th.