Man accused of breaking into one of Belfast’s best-known bars while carrying a meat cleaver

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A man has been taken into police custody accused of breaking into one of Belfast’s most notorious pubs while carrying a meat cleaver.

Joey Coleman is accused of stealing stock from Lavery’s Bar and smashing equipment with the blade taken during a separate raid at a nearby restaurant.

The homeless 23-year-old was arrested after police were called to the Bradbury Place area in the early hours of Monday morning.

He faces charges of aggravated burglary and robbery, resisting arrest and one more count of burglary.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard officers arrive at the scene as two men emerged from an alleyway next to the pub carrying a large amount of items.

When they saw the police, the couple dropped everything and ran in opposite directions.

Coleman was held a short distance down the road from Dublin.

CCTV footage reviewed as part of the investigation reportedly showed him lifting objects from a desk inside Lavery.

According to police, he was carrying a meat cleaver at the time.

“At one point he could be seen hitting a computer screen with the cleaver, smashing the screen,” a PSNI officer told the court.

Police were then alerted to a second burglary at a restaurant on nearby Botanic Avenue.

Intruders forced their way into the back of the restaurant and took a range of knives.

The restaurant owner has confirmed that the blades recovered during the burglary at Lavery were stolen from his premises.

Coleman’s request to be released on bail has been adjourned due to the current lack of address.

District Judge Mark McGarrity took him into custody for a week.

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