Man accused of robbing three Louth businesses armed with a meat cleaver is denied bail
It is alleged that a masked man was armed with a meat cleaver while committing three robberies in Drogheda in the space of four days earlier this month.
That evidence was given in the district court on Monday during a bail application by one of two men charged in connection with the incidents.
Gareth Cummins (37), Beaulieu View, Drogheda, appeared via video link.
He is accused of robbery of €500 cash at Four Star Pizza, Peter Street on 6 May last; robbery at Circle K, Mellifont, North Road on 8 May and robbery of €240 cash at Applegreen, Newfoundwell Road on 9 May.
Gardaí objected to bail under O’Callaghan Rules which mean that bail can only be denied if there is a likelihood that a defendant may not face trial or may interfere with witnesses before the trial.
Gda Eoin Martin said that it will be alleged that on 6 May at Four Star Pizza a male entered the premises with his face covered.
He ‘produced and brandished’ a meat cleaver, terrifying staff who handed over cash. He banged the meat cleaver against the counter.
On 8 May it will be alleged that a male approached the till at Circle K and produced a meat cleaver and backpack and threatened staff.
He was informed there was no till. There was an automatic system which only dispensed change. He left empty handed and got in a white Opel Corsa allegedly driven by Mr Cummins’ co-accused.
Gda Martin continued that it will be alleged that on 9 May a male went into Applegreen. He had a meat cleaver and demanded that the till be opened.
Gardaí identified that the car was registered to the co-accused. Twenty-five minutes later they stopped that vehicle which contained two males. A meat cleaver, backpack and white face mask were seized.
Gda Martin said that Mr Cummins was arrested at 6.25pm on 9 May.
Cross-examined by solicitor Barry Callan, the officer said it will be recommended that the matter proceed on indictment.
He agreed it could possibly be 12 months before a trial but that was not something gardaí factored into their investigations.
Mr Callan suggested that bail with conditions would allay garda fears under O’Callaghan Rules.
However, Judge McKiernan refused bail.
The defendant was remanded in custody to 12 June by consent via video link for DPP directions.
Steven Thornton (38), St Peter’s Place, William Street, Drogheda, who is accused of the same three charges, and had previously been refused bail, was also remanded in custody to 12 June by consent for DPP directions.