Tuesday 12 December 2017

Alan Shatter burglary accused sent for trial

Niamh O’Donoghue and Tom Tuite

A FATHER-of-one charged over a burglary at the home of Justice Minister Alan Shatter was served with a book of evidence today and sent forward for trial.

Darragh Heavey (25) is accused of trespassing at the Minister's house, at Delbrook Manor Ballinteer, in Co Dublin, with intent to commit theft of two watches of unknown value, belonging to Mr Shatter, on March 18.

Cloverhill District Court heard that Mr Heavey of Moeran Road, Walkinstown, Dublin, was being sent forward for trial.

Mr Heavey, who appeared in court wearing a striped T-shirt and grey tracksuit bottoms, had first been refused bail.

But he was released from custody last month after he was granted High Court bail on April 2 last.

Judge David McHugh made an order sending Mr Heavey forward for trial on indictment at the next term of the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which begins next month.

The judge remanded him on the same bail conditions going forward.

Mr Heavey was also told by the judge that if he intended to use an alibi in his defence he must furnish the details within 14 days to the prosecution.

He did not address the court during the brief hearing and has not yet indicated how he will plead to the charge.

Judge McHugh was told by defence solicitor Laurence Baxter that Mr Heavey is already on legal aid.

He will be appointed one junior counsel and a solicitor to represent him at his Circuit Court trial.

No one was home at the time of the incident which is alleged to have occurred as Mr Shatter was abroad representing the Government at St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Australia.

At his first court appearance, in March, Detective Sergeant Eugene Stapleton had said Mr Heavey had been arrested in the vicinity of the house and a forensic examination would link him to the property.

He had also said that the offence on conviction at Circuit Court level can carry a ten-year sentence.

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