A severely disabled woman beaten up in her own home fears the burglar will come back and kill her, a court has been told.
The 58-year-old victim was left bloodied and bruised after being punched about the head and face during the burglary in north Belfast.
Police believe a “more sinister” motive may have been behind the break-in on the Shore Road area early on Sunday morning.
Details emerged as a 21-year-old man appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court accused of carrying out the attack.
Edward Stuart Cambridge, of Green End, Newtownabbey, denies charges of burglary and theft of a mobile phone cash and gas card, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and threats to kill.
Opposing his application for bail, a detective claimed there was a risk of re-offending and interference with the victim.
The woman suffers from arthritis, asthma and has been left feeling vulnerable following her ordeal, according to the officer.
The detective told the court: “She believes he will return to kill her.
“The lady has sustained severe bruising and a very bloodied face.
“She has a deep welt to her leg and was attacked with punches to the head and face before being asked for money.”
The court heard the intruder had to climb over high walls to gain entry to the victim’s secure flat.
District Judge Bernadette Kelly was also told he allegedly removed his belt during the assault.
“Police believe he was there for a more sinister reason,” the detective said.
She added that Cambridge was seen leaving the building, but was only arrested after the victim gave a description of her attacker.
A defence solicitor stressed that he denied all the charges and told police he had been in the area drinking with friends.
Questioning the grievous bodily harm charge, the lawyer pointed out that no broken bones were alleged.
Confirming the woman’s condition, however, the detective said: “She is 58 and very severely disabled.”
Bail was refused due to the risk of further offences and interference with witnesses.
Judge Kelly added: “I have to say I share the constable’s concerns about exactly what was going on here.”
Cambridge was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link on 26 July.