Pair change pleas to guilty ahead of trial

The trial of a man and woman accused of carrying out an aggravated burglary in the Mallow area while armed with a sledgehammer and an iron bar was about to start yesterday — but the two accused changed their pleas to guilty.

Seven men and five women were sworn in on Monday and the trial was due to begin yesterday.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin arrived in court and the jury was just about to be called when Donal McCarthy, prosecuting, said that literally a moment beforehand, the defence had brought matters to his attention and he asked for a five-minute adjournment.

The two accused were then rearraigned.

John O’Donnell, aged 37, of Bansha, Co Tipperary, and Angelique Arundel, aged 30, of 54 Shannon Lawn, Mayfield, Cork, both pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary at the home of Frank Foley of Churchtown, Mallow, Co Cork, between 10pm on August 28 and 2am on August 29, 2015.

The particulars of O’Donnell’s charge was that he caused criminal damage at Mr Foley’s home while armed with a sledgehammer.

Arundel’s charge was similar and she admitted causing damage while armed with an iron bar.

Mr McCarthy asked for sentencing to be adjourned to allow time for preparation a victim impact statement.

Niamh Stewart, defending O’Donnell, said there was no application for background reports on the accused in advance of sentencing. Gareth Fleming, defending Arundel, said he did not want to delay sentencing by applying for a probation report.

Judge Ó Donnabháin directed preparation of a victim impact statement and remanded the two in custody for sentencing on February 4.

On Monday, both defendants also denied threatening to set fire to the house and threatening to kill Mr Foley. It is anticipated these charges will be withdrawn in light of the pleas of guilty to the most serious charges.


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