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‘Charity collector’ accused of stealing antique pistol in Witney

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 8, 2022

A ‘Battersea Dogs Home charity fundraiser’ is accused of pocketing an antique pistol worth £650.

Darnel McKail, 25, is said by prosecutors to have stolen historic firearm after being invited into his alleged victim’s home in Moor Avenue, Witney, on August 18 – having knocked at his front door to collect money for London-based animal shelter.

Prosecutor Jay Singh, appearing for the Crown Prosecution Service on Wednesday, told the magistrates that the 87-year-old victim had allegedly discovered the pistol was missing when the younger man left.

Appearing before Oxford Magistrates’ Court, McKail, of Birmingham Road, West Bromwich, pleaded not guilty to a single count of dwelling house burglary.

He was bailed to attend the crown court on October 6 for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

Gordana Austin represented the defendant during the short allocation hearing on Wednesday.

His bail conditions include requirements that he live and sleep at an address in West Bromwich, sign on daily at his local police station and ban him from entering the town of Witney.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward