Two men have appeared in court in connection with a string of burglaries on the same day including an incident where an 83-year-old woman had savings of €2,700 stolen from her by thieves who posed as gardaí.
Anthony Horgan and Christopher Jones, who are both homeless, appeared before a special sitting of Cork District Court this afternoon.
Judge John King heard that drug addict Jones (27) had spent €1,200 on crack cocaine in the 12 hours prior to his arrest by Gardaí investigating burglaries in Cork city. He suffers from both heroin and crack cocaine addiction.
Neither men made any reply when the charges were put to them under caution.
Horgan (44) was charged with nine offences including his alleged involvement in six burglaries. He also faces one count of handling stolen property, possession of a knife and a threat to cause criminal damage whilst he was being questioned at Togher Garda Station in Cork city.
Christopher Jones, who had been receiving support for his addiction up until the Covid 19 restrictions, was charged with allegedly being involved in six burglaries and with one count of handling stolen property. The stolen property in both cases involved ATM cards which the men allegedly used at a convenience store in Cork city.
In objecting to bail for both men Det Garda Padraig Harrington said that the charges were very serious in nature.
He alleges that the men were involved in a "crime spree" which started with a robbery on April 9.
A number of robberies occured on April 17 in occupied houses at amongst other places High Street, Frankfield Villas and Tyrone Place in Cork city.
In one house an 83-year-old woman was sleeping in her downstairs bedroom when she woke to the sight of two men who claimed to be members of An Garda Síochána.
They said they were investigating a burglary and asked her where her safe place was for her cash.
When she directed them to the area they fled the scene with €2,700 in cash and £80 sterling. It is understood that five burglaries were carried out in Cork city on the 17th with gardaí alleging that Horgan and Jones were the culprits.
Det Garda Harringston said that during questioning at Togher Garda Station Horgan picked up a metal bin and threatened to throw it through the window.
He said that there was "strong evidence" against both men. This includes CCTV footage which was harvested from the relevant areas.
Eddie Burke, solicitor, representing Mr Jones said that he was "disappointed" to see his client before the courts as he had been doing well.
He stated that his client's support system had shut down arising out of the Covid 19 restrictions.
His client requires methadone and sleeping tablets in prison. He asked that his medical needs be tended to whilst in custody.
Mr Horgan took to the stand in a bid to obtain bail in the cause.
He said that gardaí had shown him CCTV of a "big man and a small man" but he didn't know who they were. He said he hoped to receive bail in order to take care of his mother.
Taking the seriousness of the charges in to consideraton and the possibility of both men committing offences whilst on bail Judge King remanded Horgan and Jones in custody.
They will appear by video link at Cork District Court next Wednesday.