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Filling station robbery suspect ‘found hiding in attic wrapped in insulating material’

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A man charged with stealing almost £1,000 in cash along with a quantity of tobacco in a knife robbery at a filling station in Coleraine was found hiding in an attic “wrapped in roof space insulating material”, a court heard on Monday.

Kyle Parke (27), of Heronshaw in Bushmills, is accused of robbing a filling station at Bushmills Road in Coleraine of £975 cash and a quantity of tobacco on January 30 this year. He is also accused of possession of an offensive weapon – a knife – with intent to commit a robbery.

The defendant is further charged with an assault on police on January 31. The accused is currently on remand in prison and could not appear via video link because of a technical fault.

A bail application went ahead in his absence. A detective objected to bail saying Parke had 75 previous convictions and there was a risk of re-offending

The officer said the knife used in the robbery had not been recovered. The detective said the defendant’s fingerprints were on a pouch of tobacco believed to have been stolen in the robbery.

She said when Parke was found he was in a roof space wrapped in insulating material. A defence barrister said the defendant denies the offences.

He said Parke was in the roof space because he knew he was past a bail curfew. Being wrapped in the insulating material, the defence lawyer said although it was winter time the defendant “certainly wouldn’t have been cold”.

District Judge Peter King refused bail saying the alleged offences occurred whilst Parke was on bail. The judge said there was clearly a risk of re-offending.

The defendant was further remanded in custody and the case was adjourned to the end of April.

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