DESPITE the objections of gardaí a young Wexford man was granted bail at Wexford District Court where he appeared via video-link from prison in relation to an attempted robbery on a 13 year-old child in Wexford town.
Patrick O’Reilly with an address listed as 16 Lee Heights, Wexford, was one of those accused of attempting to steal a mobile phone from the child at The Rope Walk car park on November 10 of this year.
Reading the alleged facts to Judge John Cheatle, Sgt Victor Isdell said that the state would allege that Patrick O’Reilly and another male entered the town centre car park at around 7 p.m. and approached the child, telling him to hand over his phone. It would be alleged that, at this point, the other male held down the child and tried to retrieve the phone, while Patrick O’Reilly assaulted him. They subsequently left the scene without the phone, Sgt Isdell said.
Shockingly, it was noted that the injured party was just 13 years-old, while gardaí maintained that CCTV footage put O’Reilly at the scene. It was also noted that the injured party had given a comprehensive description of the defendant and what he was wearing and O’Reilly was arrested a short time later, nearby, wearing the same clothes.
Garda Nolan, the investigating officer, said that, if O’Reilly was granted bail, he would have a “strong suspicion that there would be intimidation of witnesses, as he does know one of the witnesses”.
O’Reilly’s barrister Jordan Fletcher pointed out that the CCTV footage mentioned did not actually show the incident happening and that no co-accused had been arrested in relation to this incident. He noted that his client was directed to have no contact with witnesses as part of previous bail conditions and these conditions were upheld. He stressed to the Judge that his client must be afforded the presumption of innocence and said that he had the prospect of work. O’Reilly’s mother was also present in court and had handed up €1,000 in cash to put up for bail.
Having heard from both gardaí and the defence, Judge Cheatle granted O’Reilly bail with conditions including that he sign on daily at Wexford Garda Station, stay away from North and South Main Street, stay away from the injured party and provide a phone number and be contactable by gardaí at all times. O’Reilly agreed to this and the case was put back until December 13.