Sunday 24 September 2017

Court hears details of series of raids on ATM machines


DETAILS of various ATM raids throughout the southeast were outlined by various witnesses during the course of evidence in a trial before Judge Barry Hickson at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court which is now entering its third week.

Before the court is Michael Berry, of 2 Hillview, Carnew, County Wicklow, who has pleaded not guilty to stealing ATM machines and quantities of cash at Tullow Road in Carlow on November 27, 2008; at Graignamanagh in County Kilkenny on Jue 12, 2009; and at Bellefield Road in Enniscorthy on July 24, 2009.

The 36-year-old defendant has also pleaded not guilty to a number of charges of aggravated burglary at different locations while in possession of baseball bat and hammer, a crowbar and sledge hammer. He also pleaded not guilty to burglary on a number occasion; assault; unauthorised theft of motor vehicles and structural damage to property on dates between May 26, 2008, and July 24, 2009, at Kilmyshall, Bunclody, Co. Wexford; Aughrim, County Wicklow; Tullow, Co. Carlow; Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford; Athy Road, Carlow, and in County Waterford.

During the course of his evidence, Mr. Kevin Frayne gave details of an ATM and quantity of cash in it at the Maxol Service Station at Bellefield, Enniscorthy. He said that he is the owner of the Maxol Service Station and supermarket, while the ATM is the property of Ulster Bank.

He told the court how he was informed by the shop's manager, Pat Butler, that a digger which had been left on site overnight while work was being carried out on the premises was used to access the ATM. As a result of the damage, he had to close the premises that day at a loss of €3,500 while the damage to the property and reinstalling of ATM, which was carried out by Ulster Bank, came to €44,370.

Mr. Frank O'Grady said he was Branch Manager of Ulster Bank in Enniscorthy at the time of the incident on July 24, 2009. He was notified by Sergeant Jim Doyle that the ATM had been removed by a digger and taken away. The amount of money in it at the time was €205,000.

Some days later, he was called to Enniscorthy Garda Station and shown an ATM which had been recovered during the investigation. He confirmed it was property of Ulster Bank as it was the only one stolen during 2009 that was property of the bank.

Mr. Eamonn Culleton gave evidence of how he was working for Securicor at that time. He said that on July 23, 2009, he arrived at the Maxol Filling Station in Enniscorthy at 2.05 p.m. and put €220,000 euro into the machine.

Ms Ann Marie Fitzgerald told of being employed by the Bank of Ireland in Graignamanagh. She said that the amount of cash stolen in the ATM raid there on June 12, 2009, was €141,840.

Ms Veronica Hanley, also of Bank of Ireland in Graignamanagh, said that she had received a quotation of €500,000 to repair the damage that was caused to the property. She said that there was a huge hole in the middle of the building while part of the roof of the bank had also been demolished.

With regard to the ATM raid at the Tesco supermarket in Tullow, County Carlow, on June 7 of 2008, Mr Michael McMahon told the court that the structural damage caused cost €240,000 to put right.

Another witness, Mr. Evan Doyle, the owner of Brook Lodge Hotel at Aughrim in County Wicklow, said that on June 3, 2008, a number of items were stolen from the hotel. These included a safe which contained €1750, a card reading machine, and cash float bags containing a total of €5,240.

Ms Gretta Seery said she was employed by Permanent TSB at the time of another ATM robbery from Devoy's premises in Carlow. She told of the ATM being the property of Permanent TSB while the amount of money in the machine at the time of the raid was €8,610.

The trial is continuing and is expected to take up to seven weeks in total.