A man has been charged with possession of €28,000 worth of “stolen diamond rings,” following a chase by four off-duty marathon-running detectives though Tralee town.
Linards Jegorovs, aged 31, was arrested after what the court was told was “a pursuit of some distance” through Tralee town centre to a park on Tuesday.
Mr Jegorovs, of no fixed address, appeared in custody on a charge of possession of 15 diamond engagement rings, “knowing the property to be stolen”, at Tralee Town Park on Nov 5, 2013.
Mr Jegorovs is a Latvian national, who had landed in Cork Airport from Germany three days ago and had been living in Spain since April, gardaí said.
He had previously lived in the Tralee area but Ireland was “too wet” for him, he had told gardaí after his arrest.
Gardaí were objecting to the bail application.
Mr Jegorovs, speaking through an interpreter, told the court he has no recollection of the alleged incident or of being in the shop.
He said he had been attacked “by a man” and had suffered a blow to the head earlier in the town park.
Detective Eoin Donovan gave evidence of arrest charge and caution at 4.40pm at Tralee Town Park on Tuesday last.
The accused made no reply to the charge.
Answering Supt Jim O’Connor with regard to the State objection to bail, Det Donovan agreed that Mr Jegorovs “had tried to make good his escape”.
“He had to be pursued some distance before being apprehended,” said Det Donovan.
More serious charges were likely in relation to the incident, he said.
The accused has lived in 19 countries, he told the court.
Mr Jegorovs had lived in this country but told gardaí “he doesn’t like Ireland — it’s too wet”, the garda told Pat Mann, solicitor for Mr Jegorovs.
Asked by Mr Mann if he had been told about a blow to the head, Det Donovan confirmed the man said he had been attacked earlier in the day.
Asked by the solicitor what the man remembered, the detective said: “One claim that he is making is he couldn’t remember anything about the incident.”
Mr Jegorovs said he had “absolutely no recollection” of the incident.
He had no recollection of “going into the shop”, and remembers being in the park before the alleged incident and “being approached by a man and being punched in the head”.
He also said he “loved” this country and had been staying at the Carlton Hotel in order to visit friends.
Mr Mann said his client would undertake to stay with friends if granted bail.
Judge James O’Connor refused to grant him bail and remanded him in custody to appear in Tralee next week.
Meanwhile, Tralee jeweller Billy Nolan told local radio that a tray of rings was taken from his shop some time after 4pm on Tuesday.
His son and daughter gave chase but could not keep up.
Four off-duty detectives who had just completed a marathon and had been sitting outside Yummies coffee shop, spotted the pursuit and gave chase, the jeweller said.
Garda sources have confirmed the marathon running detectives were Eoin Donovan, John Alfred, Neil Sullivan, and Daniel Buckley. They had just completed a marathon and are training to take part in another.
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