Tuesday 15 October 2019

Man charged over theft of mummified head of 'Crusader' is further remanded

Skull of crusader
Skull of crusader

Tom Tuite

A 35-year-old man charged over the theft of the mummified head of an 800-year-old “Crusader” knight from a church in Dublin has been further remanded in custody with consent to bail pending directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Crusader was decapitated at the crypt in St Michan's Church, Church Street, sometime over the weekend of February 23 and 24 last and then taken along with another skull.

The break-in was discovered on February 25 when a guide about to open the church for visitors but discovered the head of the Crusader had been severed from its mummified body and was missing.

On March 5, investigating gardai from the Bridewell station recovered the head of "The Crusader" and another skull that had been taken from the crypt.

On the evening of March 14, Brian Bridgeman, with an address at Kings Inns Street, Dublin 1, was brought before Dublin District Court.

He was charged under Section 12 of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act that while trespassing at St Michan’s Church he committed theft, at at time between February 23 and February 24 last.

He was remanded in custody with consent to bail which he has yet to take up and he faced his second hearing when he appeared before Judge Victor Blake at Cloverhill District Court today.

Judge Blake noted that directions from the DPP needed to be obtained.

GardaI were preparing a file for the DPP, CCTV has been provided and some statements needed to be taken.

Eimear Delargy BL, for Mr Bridgeman, said her client would not consent to an adjournment longer than two weeks. However, she added, he was agreeable to appearing via video-link at the next hearing.

Dressed in a light grey T-shirt and dark trousers he spoke briefly during the proceedings to confirm instructions to his barrister, saying “Yes” when asked about the video-link option.

Judge Blake remanded him in custody with consent to bail to appear again on April 4 next when the case will be listed for mention and for the DPP’s directions.

He has not yet indicated how he will plead.

Evidence of arrest, charge and caution was given by Garda Niall Cadden at his first hearing last week.

The defendant “made no reply” when charged, the court heard.

Bail has been set his own bond of €200 of which €100 must be lodged before he can be released with conditions to reside at another address furnished to the court, sign on daily at Blanchardstown Garda station, obey 10pm – 6am curfew, be contactable at all times by mobile phone.

Another man, in his twenties, was arrested as part of the investigation but he was later released without charge earlier this month.

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