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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 12:59 GMT
'Elf' lingerie thief found guilty
Orchid shop
Mr Boyd was found guilty of stealing bras, knickers and stockings
A man who dressed up as Buho, a female elf, has been convicted by a jury at Belfast Crown Court of taking underwear from a shop in a knifepoint raid.

Robert Boyd, 45, from Broadlands in Carrickfergus, held up staff at the Orchid shop in Belfast disguised in a wig, hat and glasses.

He told the court he had been in a role-playing game at the time and may have blurred reality and fantasy.

Boyd was released on bail. Sentencing was adjourned for probation reports.

In court on Thursday, ten jurors dismissed Boyd's defence and two believed it.

During the three-day trial, the jury heard that Boyd wore a disguise of a blonde curly wig, reading glasses and a beany hat.

He armed himself with a knife before stealing two sets of bras, pants, suspender belts and stockings from the lingerie shop on the Lisburn Road.

The Queen's University senior lab technician was arrested within moments of the robbery on 14 December 2005.

In his defence, Boyd claimed that due to pressures that he was suffering in his work and marriage and his indulgence in a role-playing game called "Shadow Run", he thought he may have been playing the part of criminal elf Buho when he threatened the lone female shop owner at knifepoint after asking for a discount.

He claimed he had gone to the upmarket lingerie shop to buy the two sets of red and black undies as a Christmas box for his wife.

Fantasy

Describing how Buho was a character he had assumed while playing the game, Boyd further claimed that he had blurred the lines between fantasy and reality and did not intend to rob the shop.

"I didn't mean it to happen," he later told detectives.

His claims were supported by consultant psychiatrist Dr Jane O'Neill who told the court she thought that Boyd may have been dissociated from reality.

However her opinion was directly contradicted by consultant psychistrist Dr Frederick Brown.

He said he could find nothing to suggest that Boyd was suffering from a mental disorder that prevented him from distinguishing between fantasy and reality.






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