Tuesday 17 July 2018

Armed man went on 'crime rampage' in Laois, raiding petrol station, firing rifle and hijacking van at gunpoint, court hears

Stock picture
Stock picture

Andrew Phelan

A man carried out an armed raid at a petrol station before firing a shot from a rifle while hijacking a van in a crime rampage in Co Laois, it has been alleged.

Joseph Moore (31) is accused of shooting the gun while seizing a Volkswgaen Caddy from a man kilometres from the scene of the initial garage robbery.

Earlier, it is alleged, Mr Moore had threatened to kill a woman and stole her car at his own home.

The incidents are all alleged to have taken place on Friday and Saturday last. Mr Moore is further charged with burglary at a house and robbery at another petrol station in Co Laois a week earlier.

He was remanded in custody after Dublin District Court heard he made a series of apologies in reply to the charges.

No bail application was made on his behalf.

Moore, from Market Mews, Marlborough Village, Abbeyleix, Co Laois, is charged with threatening to kill a woman and unlawfully taking her car at that address on August 18.

He is charged with then robbing a man of €930 at the Emo Filling Station, Portlaoise Road, Mountrath, on August 19.

Mr Moore is charged with unlawfully seizing a Volkswagen Caddy by threat of force at Derrykearn, Abbeyleix later on August 19.

Separately, the accused is charged with a earlier burglary at a house at Oldtown, Abbeyleix on August 10 last, then robbing a man of €1,970 at Jones Oil, Tea Lane, Portlaoise the next day, August 11.

Today, Garda Keith Shier of Portlaoise Garda Station said the accused was arrested last night and made no reply to the charge of unlawful taking of a car.

In reply to the threat to kill charge, he said "I'm so sorry," Gda Shier said.

He said "I'm sorry, I apologise to everyone involved" when charged with unlawfully seizing the van.

"I'm so sorry" was the response to Garda Shier's robbery charge.

Detective Garda JP O'Brien said the defendant replied "I am sorry" in reply to the remaining two charges.

He confirmed to the judge that there had been no local court sitting and no offer to convene one.

Det Gda O'Brien said he was applying for the accused to be remanded in custody. Defence solicitor Brian Keenan said he was making no bail application on Mr Moore's behalf at this stage.

Det Gda O'Brien asked for advance notice to be given of any bail application, saying the alleged offences were serious and involved a "fully loaded rifle being discharged" while a vehicle was hijacked.

Judge O'Neill remanded the defendant in custody to appear in court again on August 29.

Mr Moore "suffered significantly" as a result of this incident and spent a number of days in hospital before he was arrested, Mr Keenan said.

He asked Judge O'Neill to recommend medical atttention for the accused while he is in custody.

She did this, and granted free legal aid after hearing the accused was unemployed.

Mr Moore, wearing a navy and white tracksuit top, navy bottoms and white runners, did not speak during the hearing.

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