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Accused is 'tagged' from prior conviction

A MAN appeared in court yesterday on robbery charges, still wearing an electronic tag issued after a previous conviction.

Steven Smith (24) from Bradley Park in Derry, appeared at Letterkenny District Court on robbery charges in the Republic.

He was accused along with 19-year-old Mark Villa, Marianus Park, Derry, of stealing €350 from a petrol station in Muff, Co Donegal, last Saturday night.

Defence solicitor Ciaran McLaughlin said his clients wanted the matter dealt with yesterday and were pleading guilty to the robbery charges.

Smith and Villa sat handcuffed to prison guards as Garda Inspector Michael Harrison told the court how the two men were caught not far from the crime scene.

Insp Harrison asked for the case to be adjourned to a sitting of the District Court in Carndonagh today as the owner of Donaghey's service station -- robbed during the incident -- wanted to give a victim impact statement.

Judge Paul Kelly remanded both men in custody until today's hearing.

When Smith was arrested he was in breach of a Northern Ireland court order preventing him from leaving the North.

The PSNI have contacted gardai in relation to Smith's absence from the North.

Irish Independent