Sunday 25 February 2018

Love/Hate star Stephen Clinch sent for trial accused of taking part in a €50,000 armed robbery

Stephen Clinch who starred as Noely in Love/Hate pictured leaving court
Stephen Clinch who starred as Noely in Love/Hate pictured leaving court

Andrew Phelan

A LOVE/ Hate star has been sent for trial accused of taking part in a €50,000 armed robbery at a hotel bar.

Stephen Clinch (49) had a book of evidence served on him at Dublin District Court today.

It is alleged that a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol was put to the head of a security man collecting cash at the Dublin city centre hotel.

Prosecutors claim Mr Clinch later pointed the gun at another employee who gave chase.

It is alleged 10 hotel workers pursued and disarmed Mr Clinch before restraining him and an accomplice until gardai arrived.

Mr Clinch, who played “Noely” in the hit RTE series, is one of two men charged over the alleged robbery.

The actor and father-of-three, of Millbrook Grove, Kilbarrack, is charged with robbery of €50,730 and possession of a firearm at the Gate Hotel, Parnell Street on May 11, 2015.

Mr Clinch was initially refused bail by a district court judge but has since had bail granted by the High Court.

Judge Anthony Halpin was told today that a book of evidence was ready to be served.

Judge Halpin gave Mr Clinch the formal notice that he must provide any alibi details to the prosecution within 14 days.

He then sent him forward to the next sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, on a date next month.

Mr Clinch, who has not yet indicated how he intends to plead to the charge, was remanded on bail under conditions that he must carry a mobile phone, obey a curfew, sign on daily at his local garda station and not associate with his co-accused.

At the initial bail hearing in May, Garda Niall McCormack said it was alleged a security guard had arrived at the hotel at 8.15am to collect cash.

Gda McCormack said the security man was handed two bags of money and then “intercepted by two males in high visibility clothing, hats and white dust masks”.

It was alleged a 9mm semi-automatic handgun was put to the head of the security guard and some €50,730 was robbed.

The court heard it was alleged two raiders exited via a fire escape but were pursued by one of the hotel workers and Clinch pointed the gun at him.

According to the prosecution, the two men made their way through a beer garden leading to Cathal Brugha St.

They were then confronted by 10 staff members and held until gardai got there.

Gda McCormack said the gun was allegedly removed from Mr Clinch and that it contained four bullets.

Co-accused, Hugh McWeeney (43), of Main Street, Belmayne, Malahide Road, is currently before the courts on the same charges.

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