Alleged burglar claims he was trapped in fridge while looking for toilets

Wednesday 27 August 2014 16.55
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Sean McAvoy told police he got lost inside The Bank Bar and Bistro in Newry
Sean McAvoy told police he got lost inside The Bank Bar and Bistro in Newry
Chief Justice Morgan directed that the case be listed again in two weeks' time
Chief Justice Morgan directed that the case be listed again in two weeks' time

An alleged restaurant burglar claims he became trapped inside a fridge while looking for toilets, the High Court in Belfast heard today.

Sean McAvoy told police he got lost inside The Bank Bar and Bistro in Newry, Co Down.

The 21-year-old faces a charge of burglary with intent to steal from the venue at Trevor Hill in Newry on 31 May.

During a bail application prosecuting counsel said the door of an industrial fridge had been extensively damaged and food thrown all over the kitchen floor.

A mobile phone found inside the fridge by the bar manager went to the accused's Facebook profile when switched on, the court heard.

Mr McAvoy, of Chequer Hill in Newry, was said to have been barred from the premises two years previously.

He was arrested at his home after police viewed CCTV footage of the alleged incident.

It was claimed that he said to officers: "Is it because of the Bank? I was locked in the fridge."

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan was told Mr McAvoy claimed to have got lost while going to the bathroom.

However, according to the prosecution the toilets are located in another part of the complex.

"He stated that any damage to the fridge was caused when he panicked and couldn't get out," the lawyer added.

Mr McAvoy claimed he eventually managed to get out of the fridge and exit through a fire door.

Opposing bail, the prosecutor said Mr McAvoy has drink and drug problems and may not comply with any release conditions.

Chief Justice Morgan adjourned the application for a report to be prepared on the accused's compliance with separate requirements.

He directed that the case be listed again in two weeks' time.