An explosives charge was brought today in relation to a young man’s potentially catastrophic attempts to blow up an ATM attached to a petrol station.
As soon as Garda Jeremy O’Leary charged Evan Stubbins from Church Road, Croom, County Limerick, with the explosives charges the 23-year-old man indicated that he wanted to sign a plea of guilty to this charge and two others at Cork District Court.
The crime was at an AIB ATM at the Maxol Garage, Carr’s Hill, Carrigaline, Co Cork on August 2nd 2020.
Sergeant John Kelleher said the Director of Public Prosecutions directed that the case should be dealt with by judge and jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court or by way of a signed plea of guilty for sentencing at that court.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said Stubbins would sign pleas of guilty. The most serious charge was the one brought today contrary to the Explosive Substances Act of 1883 as amended in legislation in 1998 and 1999.
The charge stated that Stubbins had in his possession oxypropane cutting tool apparatus, lighter and various tools with the intention of endangering life or causing serious injuries to property.
He was charged in August with causing criminal damage to the AIB ATM and with attempting to steal the contents of the ATM.
Mr Buttimer said Stubbins had been granted bail on conditions in the High Court but would not be in a position to take up that bail.
Judge Olann Kelleher sent him forward to the present sittings of Cork Circuit Criminal Court, the case to be listed on Thursday.
At his bail hearing in Cork District Court in August it was alleged Stubbins was caught red-handed by Garda O’Leary and his colleague who observed suspicious activity at the ATM on the main Cork to Carrigaline Road after 2 a.m. on August 2nd.
Garda O’Leary said Stubbins was dressed all in black and was trying to jemmy open the ATM covering with a screwdriver when they interrupted him and that he tried to get into a VW Passat fitted with false number plates but the gardaí apprehended him after a struggle.
Garda O’Leary said that in the car they found a con saw, a large crowbar and a blow torch attached to two cyclinders of gas and air which Mr Stubbins had planned to use to blow out the ATM from the wall.
“The garage was closed but the tanks there contain 30,000 litres of petrol and diesel and there is a house nearby. According to experts, if he had succeeded in doing what he planned, which would have involved mixing the gas and the air, he would have caused a huge explosion.
“It would have had catastrophic consequences for both property and life, including his own – he could potentially have killed himself if he had followed through on what he was planning to do,” Garda O’Leary said.