THE DNA of a a man accused of stealing £80,000 from a house in Strabane was found at the scene of the crime, police have claimed.
Patrick Ward (42) of Daisyfields in Derry is accused of stealing £70,000 in cash and £10,000 in jewellery from a house in Melmount Park on March 22 this year.
During a bail hearing at Strabane Magistrates Court on Friday, the Public Prosecution Service confirmed they could connect Ward to the crime by way of DNA samples taken from a pair of socks discovered inside the house.
The court was told that the intruders entered the property by removing a glass panel from the back door.
Upstairs they found a safe and managed to smash it open before making off with the cash and jewels. They managed to replace the door panel before leaving.
After being contacted by the householders, PSNI forensic officers removed a pair of socks for examination. DNA allegedly belonging to Patrick Ward was discovered on the fabric, Strabane court was told.
Entering a double barrelled bail application, Ward’s solicitor said his client’s daughter was due to get married within days and the family did not want the wedding to go ahead without him.
The PSNI said they vehemently opposed bail because of Ward’s lengthy back catalogue of offending. They revealed three outstanding warrants in Dublin for him, describing him as “a career criminal”.
District Judge Liam McNally pointed out that Ward had used 19 alias names in a bid to dodge justice over a substantial period of time.
Denying bail and remanding the defendant back to prison, Mr McNally said, “This is a serious charge and there does appear to be a strong case against you in that your DNA was found on a pair of socks.
“You have already been denied bail on two other occasions and I have to be satisfied there has been a change of circumstances since that. I can’t see how there has been.”
Bail was denied on the grounds of a likelihood of re-offending and that Ward is a flight risk.
He will appear again by video link at Strabane Magistrates Court on August 30.