Saturday 1 October 2016

Off duty garda foiled alleged attempt to rob pharmacy, court told

Andrew Phelan

Published 10/03/2016 | 10:50

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AN off-duty garda foiled an alleged attempt to rob a pharmacy when he confronted the suspected raider and brought him to the ground, a court has heard.

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Jason Halpin (43) is alleged to have been found with a kitchen knife on him after the officer intervened.

Judge David McHugh refused to grant him bail when he appeared in court today charged following an incident in Castleknock.

Mr Halpin, of Corduff Road, Blanchardstown is charged with attempting to rob the store manager at Lloyd's Pharmacy, Castleknock Shopping Centre.

He is also accused of unlawful possession of a knife.

Blanchardstown District Court heard he denied the charges.

Garda Adrian Kildea said he arrested the accused at the pharmacy at 7.30pm yesterday (Wednesday).

He made no reply to the charges after caution.

Objecting to bail, Garda Kildea said it would be alleged that Mr Halpin was observed by an off-duty garda, Donal O'Sullivan approaching the premises and acting in a "very suspicious manner."

Garda O'Sullivan contacted the local station and saw the accused running into the pharmacy, it was alleged.

Garda O'Sullivan ran after him and saw Mr Halpin grabbing a woman and pushing her behind the counter, Garda Kildea maintained.

"He was in the process of carrying out a robbery," he alleged. "He was confronted by Garda O'Sullivan and restrained to the ground. He was found in possession of a sharply pointed knife; a kitchen knife with a black handle. He was caught in the middle of carrying out the robbery."

Garda Kildea said he believed the accused would carry out offences if granted bail.

Mr Halpin lived with his 70-year-old father and was sole carer for him, his solicitor John O'Doherty said.

"His father is able to look after himself," Garda Kildea said.

"He denies the charges, no admissions were made in relation to the matters before the court," Mr O'Doherty said.

Mr Halpin would abide by bail conditions including signing on at a garda station and observing a curfew, he added.

Judge McHugh said it was "clearly a serious matter" and denied the accused bail.

He remanded him in custody to appear in Cloverhill District Court next week.

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