Vacuum cleaner ‘must have been used to clean up’ after raid

WHOEVER carried out the £26.5 million Northern Bank robbery over four years ago also took off with a vacuum cleaner, it emerged at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

Tom O’Connell, prosecuting, revealed how a blue plastic chair with tubular steel legs as well as a vacuum cleaner were also taken in the now infamous robbery.

Mr O’Connell was at a loss to offer any insight in relation to the chair but did speculate in relation to the vacuum cleaner.

“It must have been used by the robbers in the course of the robbery to clean up.”

Video evidence was also shown to the jury during yesterday’s sitting and sparked some entertaining exchanges.

PSNI Detective Constable Colin Benson said the video showed some of the activity in the bank’s cash centre at the time the money was taken.

“Did the robbers ever enter the bank?” Mr O’Connell asked.

The detective replied: “No, the money was brought out by Mr McMullan and Mr Ward.”

Referring to the video evidence, which showed various clips of a white van driving around, the detective said: “We may or may not be looking at the actual van.”

Defence barrister for Ted Cunningham, Alan Toal, then took all in attendance by surprise when he asked if Detective Constable Benson was partial to a pint of Guinness.

The detective replied that he never drank the stuff. Mr Toal said the reason he asked about the stout was because the video was like the old Guinness ad.

“This 30 seconds of darkness was brought to you by Guinness” — in that it did not confirm anything.

The detective replied: “We are not saying it is the van or not the van, we are simply saying it could be.”

Mr Toal then thanked the detective and said: “You have been very helpful.”

Tom Creed, senior counsel, said the jury had been told that during the robbery a blue plastic chair with tubular steel legs and a vacuum cleaner had been taken. He wondered why the chair and the vacuum cleaner did not appear on the video.

The case continues today.

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