A French Bulldog being taken for an afternoon walk by its owner was robbed by a man who jumped out of a car and swung a hammer in the direction of the owner.
Detective Garda Brian Murphy made this allegation and said that some of the strongest evidence against the accused man, 28-year-old Michael Molloy of An Faill, Cul Ard, Carrigtohill, County Cork, was taken from CCTV belonging to the defendant recorded at the door of his own home.
The detective gave details of what was allegedly recorded on the defendant’s own CCTV.
“He goes to the house, opens the door, he goes back to the rear of the Ford Fiesta. You can quite clearly see the dog – the French Bulldog – in the car.
“He bundles the dog into a blanket. He waits until no member of the public is passing. When there is no member of the public passing he bolts,” Det. Garda Murphy said.
Judge Olann Kelleher clarified the allegation, “And this is all on his own CCTV?” The detective confirmed that it was on it, and that furthermore it was extremely good quality. “It couldn’t be clearer,” he said.
Det. Garda Murphy said Michael Molloy declined to answer any questions in the course of three garda interviews and did not supply the access code for the CCTV at his home. However, gardaí were able to access it without the owner’s code.
The defendant said in his bail application that there was no dog in the CCTV and he was carrying a bundle of clothes. Sgt. John Kelleher questioned why the accused bolted for the door and asked, “Were you in a hurry to wash the clothes?”
Det. Garda Murphy said the owner was walking the dog at 4.30pm on the afternoon of April 11 when a Ford Focus pulled up beside him, a young man jumped out of the back of it, swung a lump hammer twice or three times in his direction and demanded the dog. He grabbed the dog, took him into the Focus which was driven away, the detective said.
The owner managed to get partial registration details and the car was traced to Michael Molloy who later arranged for the dog to be returned to the detective for the owner.
Shane Collins-Daly solicitor said the defendant denied having anything to do with the robbery of the dog but was able to find out who did it because of the sale of his Ford Focus earlier that day and he got the dog back from them.
Det. Garda Murphy said the Focus was abandoned at the Exchange business park in Churchfield and that CCTV showed three men getting out of the car with the dog. The car that pulled up outside the defendant’s house later was a Ford Fiesta.
The detective said, “This was a very serious offence. The owner was threatened with a hammer before the defendant fled with the dog.
“It happened in broad daylight in full view of the public.
“The injured party describes the dog as not just his property but as being like a child. He said his world was ripped away from him. He was not sure he was going to get his family pet back.”
Judge Olann Kelleher refused bail and remanded the accused in custody for one week on the charge of carrying out a robbery at Ballincollie Road in Ballyvolane on April 11 – of the 14-month-old French Bulldog, Rocco, from Denis McCarthy.
The owner, who is aged around 30, previously thanked the gardaí and credited social media for the dog's safe return after a successful online appeal.