Three men and two teenage boys have been charged in connection with their alleged involvement in a targeted burglary at a house in Bandon town in Co Cork which occurred shortly after 5pm last Friday with gardaí who arrived at the scene claiming that they caught the robbers "red handed."
The men appeared before Bandon District Court this morning. Gardaí told Judge James McNulty that the men and the two juveniles allegedly travelled from Co Tipperary to Bandon last Friday with the aim of committing a burglary in a house which they believed contained a large amount of cash.
The court heard that the men allegedly stopped for fuel in a filling station in Cashel en route. A high powered Audi A3 car then parked for in the region of 40 minutes in the Watergate area of Bandon.
Gardaí claimed that they saw some of the accused leave the property and another in the driver's seat ready to flee the scene once the robbery was completed.
Larry O'Connor of An Duiche, Scahelene, Tipperary town was charged with three offences. He was charged with possession of articles to wit a burglary. These included a high powered 3.2 litre Audi car with cloned registration plates, a screwdriver, Dettol spray, a face covering, and gloves with the intention of use in a burglary.
The 32-year-old was also charged with entering as a trespasser to commit a burglary and with production of an article, a crowbar.
When the charges were put to him under caution he replied to one of the charges: "When I came out of the house. I put my hand up to the law.
The second accused Patrick Harty has an address in Mountain View, Bansha Road in Tipperary town. The 26-year-old is also charged with possession of articles to wit a burglary and entering as a trespasser to commit a burglary. He made no reply when the charges were put to him under caution.
The third accused Jimmy Connors of Bank Place in Tipperary town is charged with possession of articles to wit a burglary, the use of a mechanically propelled vehicle without insurance, dangerous driving and entering as a trespasser to commit a burglary.
Det Sgt Lyons objected to bail being given to all three men arising out of the seriousness of the charges. He said the men were caught "red-handed" in the Watergate area of Bandon last Friday evening.
He told the court that the men allegedly travelled together to commit a robbery having got fuel for their vehicle in Cashel, Co Tipperary. He said that Dettol was found in the car allegedly used by the men. The car also contained gloves, face coverings and a screwdriver.
He said gardaí will allege that the men targeted the house in question believing there to be cash onsite. He expressed fear that the men would commit offences whilst on bail or not appear in court to face their charges.
He claimed that Larry O'Connor was seen exiting the property through the front door and that he was holding a crowbar. He claimed that Mr O'Connor had attempted to strike gardaí with the object.
Mr O'Connor, who is a father of two, told Judge McNulty that "on the day it just went out of hand."
He apologised and stated his intention to enter a guilty plea in the case. "I am not denying nothing."
His solicitor Ray Hennessy said that his client had never been convicted of failing to appear in court. However, gardaí indicated that he had a history of receiving bench warrants.
Meanwhile, Dt Sgt Lyons claimed that false Limerick registration plates had been fixed to the Audi car and that the real UK plates were recovered from the vehicle.
He added that Dettol spray was found in the vehicle. He indicated that in recent burglaries gardaí have found that the product is commonly being used to rid crime scenes of forensic evidence.
Det Sgt Lyons claimed that Mr Harty was seen leaving the property in Bandon through a window and that the father of three was wearing gloves and a snood. He also claimed that Jimmy Connors was in the driver seat of the car and that the father of one allegedly tried to flee the scene.
Judge James McNulty declined to grant bail to all three adult male accused and remanded them in custody to appear before the court again on January 31st next.
Two juvenile males also appeared in court for their alleged role in the incident. Both youths were granted bail in the case after Det Sgt Lyons said that gardaí had no objection once conditions were put in place. The youths were remanded on their own bail of €100 to appear in the court again on January 31.
The youths have to sign on daily at garda stations and obey strict curfews until their next court appearance. They also are not allowed contact any potential witnesses in the case or to have any contact with the co accused. The youths have also been warned to stay out of certain areas including Co Cork.