Thursday 29 September 2016

Man who had stolen digger and ATM machine with €125k was traced through ad on website

Published 04/02/2016 | 12:16

Bernard Quigley arriving at Sligo Circuit Court, to be sentenced for the robbery of a Bank of Ireland ATM in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo in 2014
Bernard Quigley arriving at Sligo Circuit Court, to be sentenced for the robbery of a Bank of Ireland ATM in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo in 2014
Sligo Courthouse

A 43-YEAR-old unemployed man linked to the theft of an ATM machine through an advert on donedeal.ie has been jailed today for seven and a half years.

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More than €43,000 worth of damage was done to the Bank of Ireland in Tubbercury, Co Sligo,

It took a jury yesterday just 51 minutes to find Bernard Quigley guilty on three charges related to the raid in the early hours of January 29, 2014.

The trial had lasted 18 days and Quigley was found guilty on three charges; of criminal damage, possessing a stolen digger and theft of an ATM containing €124,300.

Gardaí recovered the machine and its contents in a fast-moving investigation at the time after a member of the public followed the three-man gang involved in the raid.

Today Detective Sgt Tom Colsh told a sentencing hearing how gardai traced Quigley, of Branchfield, Drumfin, Co Sligo, through an advertisement on the website donedeal.ie for a low-loader trailer detectives believed had been used in the raid.

One picture showed Quigley’s own car on the back of the trailer and DNA from the accused was later found in three different locations relating to the crime, said DS Colsh in his evidence to Sligo Circuit Court today.

Judge Francis Comerford praised gardai and members of the public who had helped the investigation.

During the raid the ATM was ripped from the wall of the bank and had to be put on a trailer twice after it initially fell off.

Witness Paul Murphy had told the jury how he jumped out of bed, got into his car and had followed the raiders until he had been threatened on a rural road outside Tubbercurry.

The gang then abandoned the ATM at Carrowneden, Coolaney.

The judge said Mr Murphy’s information and public spirit had helped gardai in their investigation and the recovery of the ATM.

The judge said the raid had been pre-meditated and pre-planned and an aggravating factor in the offence was the fact Mr Murphy had been threatened after the theft.

“It was an attack on the orderly conduct of an Irish town,” said the judge.

Quigley, whose previous convictions were for minor road traffic offences, was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for the theft of the ATM, with the last two years suspended for two years.

He was also given concurrent sentences of seven and a half years for criminal damage to the bank, with the last two years also suspended, and four years years for possession of the stolen digger used to rip the machine from the front of the bank.

The judge said he believed Quigley’s role in the event was an ‘aberration’ set against his life to date.

The sentences were back-dated to August 2014 when father of six Quigley was remanded in custody.

Two of his daughters wept at the back of the court as he was led away.

The court was told the investigation into the raid is continuing.

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