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Jail for Co Armagh man who held imitation gun to throat of hostel resident

Defendant demanded victim give him £40

A Co Armagh man who threatened to shoot a fellow hostel resident if he did not give him money has been sent to prison.

Twenty-year-old Nash Beattie pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and causing criminal damage at a hostel on Corporation Street in Belfast.

The defendant has an address at Garvaghy Park but was a resident of the hostel at the time of the offence, on January 12, last year.

A prosecutor told Belfast Crown Court that another resident of the hostel had been viewing Facebook on a computer when Beattie came up to him and ordered him to tell his social media friends to give him £40.

He then produced a gun, which it later transpired was an imitation weapon, and told the resident to give him £40.

The court was told the resident, who thought the gun was genuine, was terrified. He went to his bedroom where he was followed by Beattie, who again produced the ‘gun’, held it to his throat and threatened to shoot him if he did not hand over the money.

Prosecution said the victim, who later suffered an asthma attack after the ordeal, begged Beattie not to shoot him as he had children.

The defendant them smashed pictures and photographs, the cost of which was estimated to be £130.

A defence barrister said his client was aware of the suffering he had caused and apologised to his victim.

Judge Millar imposed a four year sentence, two years in custody and a further two years on licence. He agreed with Probation Service that Beattie did not represent a danger to the public in the future, despite 14 previous convictions, five of which had been for robbery.

A six month prison term, to run concurrently, was imposed on the criminal damage charge.

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