A man in his twenties could have been responsible for his own death and that of persons living near a Cork petrol station where he tried to blow up an ATM, it has been alleged at a court sitting.
Evan Stubbins (23) from Church Road, Croom, Co Limerick appeared before a special sitting of Cork District Court today charged with causing criminal damage to an AIB ATM.
He was also charged with attempting to steal the contents of said machine at the Maxol Garage, Carr’s Hill, Carrigaline, yesterday.
Garda Jeremy O’Leary of Togher Garda Station gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution.
He said that Mr Stubbins made no reply to either charge when they were put to him after caution.
An objection was made to bail. Garda O’Leary said that they feared Stubbins would not stand trial but would flee.
He also expressed concern that Stubbins would commit further offences if he was granted bail.
He told Judge Olann Kelleher that the evidence supporting the charges against Mr Stubbins was strong. He alleged Mr Stubbins was caught red-handed by himself and another officer whilst they were on patrol in Carrigaline at 2.05am on August 2nd.
He said the state would allege that Mr Stubbins was trying to jemmy open the ATM covering with a screwdriver when they came upon him in the act.
He said it was alleged that Stubbins tried to get into a VW Passat fitted with false number plates to flee. However, gardaí stopped him in his tracks him after a struggle.
Garda O’Leary said the state would allege they found several false number plates, a con saw, a large crowbar and a blow torch attached to two cylinders of gas and air in the car.
Gardai believe that Stubbins had planned to use these items 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 and 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 he was concerned Mr Stubbins might try to carry out similar thefts if granted bail as he seemed to have “a fascination with explosions.”
Mr Stubbins vowed not to commit any offences if granted bail.
“I understand – if I tried to replicate something like last night, the gardaí would be at my door within a hour because it’s a serious offence, very serious, it’s not something that happens too often- no way, 100pc, am I going to commit another crime if I get bail.”
Mr Stubbins said he got quite “scared” as a result of his actions.
Judge Olann Kelleher refused to grant bail in the case taking the gravity of the situation into consideration. He remanded Stubbins in custody to appear in court again on August 10th by video link. Free legal aid was granted as Stubbins is unemployed.