No bail for ‘crime spree’ suspects

Two men have appeared in court in connection with a string of burglaries on the same day, including an incident where a woman aged 83 had savings of €2,700 stolen by thieves who posed as gardaí.
No bail for ‘crime spree’ suspects

Anthony Horgan and Christopher Jones, both homeless, appeared before a special sitting of Cork District Court yesterday.

Judge John King heard that Mr Jones, aged 27, had spent €1,200 on crack cocaine in the 12 hours prior to his arrest. He suffers from heroin and cocaine addiction.

Neither men made any reply when the charges were put to them under caution.

Mr Horgan, aged 44, was charged with nine offences including involvement in six burglaries. He also faces one count of handling stolen property, possession of a knife, and a threat to cause criminal damage while being questioned at Togher Garda Station in Cork city.

Mr Jones was charged with involvement in six burglaries and one count of handling stolen property. The property in both cases involved ATM cards which the men allegedly used at a convenience store in Cork.

Objecting to bail for both men, Detective Garda Padraig Harrington said the charges were very serious. He alleged that the men were involved in a “crime spree” which started with a robbery on April 9. A number of robberies occurred on April 17 in occupied houses, including at High St, Frankfield Villas, and Tyrone Place in Cork city.

In one house, a woman aged 83 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 where her safe place was for cash.

When she directed them to the area they fled with €2,700 cash and £80 sterling. It is understood five burglaries were carried out in Cork city on April 17, with gardaí alleging Horgan and Jones were the culprits.

Det Garda Harrington said that during questioning, Horgan picked up a metal bin and threatened to throw it through the window. There was “strong evidence” against both men, he said, including CCTV footage.

Solicitor Eddie Burke, representing Mr Jones, said he was “disappointed” to see his client before the courts as he had been doing well. His support system had shut due to Covid-19 restrictions.

His client requires methadone and sleeping tablets in prison. He asked that his medical needs be tended to while in custody.

Mr Horgan took to the stand in a bid to obtain bail.

He said gardaí had shown him CCTV of a “big man and a small man” but he didn’t know who they were. He hoped to receive bail in order to take care of his mother.

Judge King remanded the pair in custody to appear by video link at Cork District Court on Wednesday.

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