Ballymena man 'wanted mephedrone'

A man originally from Ballymena who was accused of stealing from a school and a bakery in Newry claimed to be in the city to buy the drug mephedrone, the High Court has been told.

Declan McNally, 25, now with an address at Churchill House, Belfast, is charged with two counts of burglary.

A handbag containing 70 was allegedly stolen during the first incident at a bakery on Monaghan Street on 22 May.

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The court was told on May 30, McNally was stopped as he climbed over the gates of a school from which a purse had been stolen.

A Crown prosectutor said CCTV footage captured a young man taking the belongings from the bakery.

She said just over a week later Mr McNally was found near an office at Our Lady's Grammar School.

It was said that when confronted the defendant claimed to be looking for a job and was directed to reception.

After a member of staff's purse went missing McNally was found climbing the gates.

The court was told he later made admissions during police interviews and said he had come to Newry to buy mephedrone.

Barry Gibson, defending, said his client had a sad background involving the death of his mother and father within a year of each other.

Mr Gibson said: "He has no family at all. He came from Ballymena originally. He said he was looking for money either to buy this drug or to get the bus back to Belfast again."

Bail was refused due to the risk of further offences being committed.