Wednesday 26 October 2016

'Off-duty garda disarmed man who pointed imitation handgun to shopkeeper’s head and robbed him,' court hears

Andrew Phelan

Published 26/01/2016 | 15:18

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A JOBLESS man pointed an imitation handgun to a shopkeeper’s head and robbed him before being disarmed by an off-duty garda, it has been alleged.

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A court was told Patrick Brazil (39) also threatened the garda when he walked into the shop while the robbery was in progress.

It is alleged the off-duty officer confronted Mr Brazil, disarmed him and restrained him until local gardai arrived.

Judge Anthony Halpin refused to grant bail to the accused when he appeared in Dublin District Court today. He remanded him in custody to appear in Cloverhill District Court on Friday.

Mr Brazil, with an address at Prussia Street, Dublin 7, is charged with robbing a man of an unknown quantity of money at Valuemart, Oxmantown Road, also in Dublin 7 yesterday.

Garda Claire Rafferty said the accused was charged at Mountjoy Garda Station at 10.10am this morning and he made no reply after caution.

He was handed a copy of the charge sheet.

Objecting to bail, she cited the seriousness of the allegations and the strength of proposed evidence.

She said it was alleged the accused went to the shop at 1.10pm and put a handgun to the shopkeeper’s head.

It was alleged he threatened the man and demanded the contents of the till, which were placed in a carrier bag he was carrying.

Garda Rafferty said the accused took a 12-inch kitchen knife from behind the till.

He was then confronted by an off-duty garda, who he allegedly threatened.

Garda Rafferty said the garda disarmed him and restrained him at the scene.

On arriving, gardai saw two men struggling on the ground - Mr Brazil and the off-duty garda.

The gun was found to be an imitation firearm and a 12-inch knife was allegedly found tucked into the side of the defendant’s boxer shorts, she continued.

Garda Rafferty said CCTV “fully confirms the story” of the off-duty garda and the shopkeeper.

The accused made no admissions when questioned.

She said the robbery charge carried a maximum potential sentence on conviction of life imprisonment.

Defence solicitor Eoin Lysaght said Mr Brazil enjoys a presumption of innocence and would abide by conditions if granted bail.

In cross-examination, Garda Rafferty said she was satisfied that he was living at the address provided.

The defendant, wearing a blue jacket, grey top and grey tracksuit bottoms, gave evidence in support of his bail application.

He denied that he would commit offences if granted bail.

Mr Brazil has not yet indicated how he intends to plead to the charge, which is under Section 14 of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.

The judge granted free legal aid following an application by Mr Lysaght.

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