Gardaí object to bail for man accused of entering Cork house to go through purse as five-year-old looked on

Gardaí object to bail for man accused of entering Cork house to go through purse as five-year-old looked on
The Courthouse on Anglesea Street, Cork. Generic Court Picture Dan Linehan

A five-year-old girl was alone in the kitchen of her family home in Cork city when a burglar entered the house and began to go through a purse.

That was the allegation made by Detective Garda Rory O’Connell during an objection to application for bail made by 37-year-old Graham O’Mahony of no fixed address at Cork District Court.

It was further alleged that child’s mother came downstairs and walked into the kitchen where the intruder verbally abused her before leaving.

Defence solicitor, Diarmuid Kelleher, stressed that these were allegations and that there was a presumption of innocence. He said, “Mr O’Mahony strenuously denies these allegations.” 

The defendant did not apply for bail when he was first arrested and remanded in custody on April 5. Because of Coronavirus restrictions he has – like other prisoners – been on 23-hour lockdown.

O’Mahony complained today that this was affecting his mental health, that he was not getting to see the prison psychiatrist, had no visitors and he was not getting his medication.

Judge Olann Kelleher refused the bail application. He said the accused man was quite entitled to apply for bail but that he did not meet the required threshold. He remanded O’Mahony in custody for a further two weeks.

“I would recommend that he would get any medical treatment he requires,” Judge Kelleher said.

Sergeant John Kelleher said the garda file in the case had been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions but not DPP directions were forthcoming yet. O’Mahony will appear in court by video link from prison on the next occasion, June 9.

He is charged with entering a house on March 25 at Edward Walsh Road, Togher, Cork, as a trespasser and attempting to steal by searching owner’s purse on the kitchen table.

Det. Garda Rory O’Connell outlined the allegations in the case saying that an intruder arrived in the house at 8.30 p.m. that evening.

“It is alleged he entered through an unlocked front door and entered the kitchen and picked up a purse and went through the contents when a five-year-old girl was on her own in the kitchen.

“It is alleged the child’s mother came down the stairs and that he verbally abused the mother and then left the house.

“It is feared by gardaí that if released on bail he would commit further serious offences. When arrested by gardaí he disclosed he was taking heroin. We believe he will commit further serious offences to feed his drug habit,” Det. Garda O’Connell said.

As well as strenuously denying having anything to do with the burglary, he also said that he was no longer on heroin and would not carry out any offence if released.

When Sergeant Kelleher cross-examined the defendant about the allegation that a five-year-old girl was in the kitchen at the time of the burglary, O’Mahony replied, “That is nothing got to do with me whatsoever.”

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