Suspect in Clane and Celbridge thefts refused bail

Gardai allege he demanded money at knifepoint

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Suspect in Clane and Celbridge thefts refused bail

The hearing took place at Naas Courthouse.

A Clane man who is a suspect in two cases of theft of shops was refused bail at Naas District Court yesterday, Wednesday, May 17.

Peter Byrne, 46, with an address listed as 29 The Elms, College Road, Clane is suspected of involvement in theft the previous day, Tuesday, May 16, at the Castletown Pharmacy in Celbridge and Boyle Sports in Clane.

Detective Des McHale appeared before Judge Desmond Zaidan and gave evidence that he the State would be objecting to bail.

He said there was a fear that the defendant would not appear to answer the charges. They were also concerned that he would commit further charges.

He outlined how it would be alleged that on Tuesday, a man had entered the shop in Clane, armed with a knife, and demanded cash from the till. It's alleged that he did likewise in Celbridge.

In each case, it is alleged that the defendant got away with €200. Detective McHale said there was good CCTV from the incident in Celbridge.

Gardai went to the defendant’s home and allegedly found €400 there.

The court heard that Mr Byrne is an alcoholic, having lost his father when he was young. He told the judge that he had been homeless in the past, but in recent times he has been in a relationship and is living with his partner in Clane.

She is quite ill at the moment with aneurysms and is in and out of hospital. Mr Byrne also has health concerns and needs treatment.

In the witness box he paid tribute to the Gardai who, he said, treated him well. The defendant, who appeared to be quite an affable and friendly man in the witness box, admitted that when he has drink on him, he becomes unpredictable. He promised the Gardai and the judge that he wouldn’t do anything if released on bail.

But Judge Zaidan said he could not decide on the issue based on sympathy alone, that his decision had to be based in law.

On that basis he refused to grant bail.