No bail for Cork man charged with robbery of wheelchair-bound amputee

No bail for Cork man charged with robbery of wheelchair-bound amputee

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A wheelchair-bound man was dragged to the ground, robbed and left injured after he sat outside Mercy University Hospital in the afternoon and today a 39-year-old man was arrested and charged with carrying out a robbery.

Detective Garda Lorna Healy arrested Connie Foley of Gould’s Hill, Mallow, County Cork, and charged him with carrying out the robbery from the man in the wheelchair on Monday afternoon, September 14.

It is understood that the injured party is a 50-year-old amputee.

Det. Garda Healy said members of the public passing Gravel Lane, near the Mercy University Hospital shortly before 4pm on Monday, assisted the victim who was dragged from his wheelchair. Det. Garda Healy said the injured party was bruised all over his body as a result of the incident.

Connie Foley made no reply when he was arrested, charged with robbery and cautioned.

The allegation in the case was that a wheelchair-bound man was approached by a man who asked him for his mobile phone and he refused.

Det. Garda Healy said the man then grabbed the wallet belonging to the injured party, dragging him from his wheelchair in the process. The wallet was later recovered and €100 was missing from it.

The detective said there was excellent CCTV footage of the incident and it was alleged that the defendant was identified in this and subsequently arrested in Mallow.

“Gardaí would have serious concerns that he would commit further serious offences if released on bail,” Det. Garda Healy said.

Defence solicitor, Cathal Lombard, said in cross-examination of the detective at the bail application in Cork District Court, “He strenuously denied he was the person in this incident when he was interviewed by gardaí.” 

Det. Garda Healy said, “That is incorrect, he made no comment throughout interview.” 

Mr Lombard called Foley to give evidence in the bail application.

Foley of 7 Ceoil na nÉan, Gouldshill, Mallow, County Cork, denied the robbery charge in the witness box.

“I was at home all day on that date. If you go back and look at cameras.

“I will stick by whatever rules (if granted bail), I will sign on three times a day at Mallow garda station,” Foley said.

Judge Olann Kelleher refused bail and remanded the accused in custody until September 25.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said directions were awaited from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

It was reported that the robbery happened after the wheelchair user had attended the Mercy University Hospital for a medical appointment on Monday afternoon and was resting in his wheelchair at nearby Gravel Lane.

A passing taxi driver heard the wheelchair user’s cries for help and he and several members of the public helped him back into his wheelchair before alerting gardaí who were quickly on the scene.

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