The case was heard at Naas District Court yesterday
A Czech national and Athy resident is in custody waiting to face charges of theft after he was refused bail by Naas District Court yesterday, June 6.
Rotislav Conka was, gardai told Judge Desmond Zaidan, allegedly caught red handed the day before in Henry Street, Newbridge with 36 mobile phones worth €6,000.
Gardai alleged that Mr Conka of 2 Moneen Drive, The Hollands, Athy enter Eyre Retail Store on June 5, and used a claw hammer to do so.
They alleged that when stopped by them after he had allegedly exited the shop, he had a knife on his person.
Gardai objected to bail for the Mr Conka on the basis that they believed he would be a flight risk. They say that when he was in custody he did not disclose his name or address during six hours of questioning.
Gardai are also investigating if Mr Conka was involved in three more raids at the same shop, on March 12, 2019, December 22, 2018 and August 31, 2018 when entry was gained to the shop in the exact same manner and a total of €93,400 worth of mobile phones was removed.
Judge Desmond Zaidan was told that the gardai were waiting on the forensic tests to confirm or deny their suspicion.
They said that Mr Conka had no visible sign of income and was not claiming social welfare. The court also heard that gardai believe that Mr Conku is part of a crime gang that steals goods like this.
His solicitor Brian Larkin noted that his client “still enjoys the presumption of innocence” and that he was not on trial for the previous thefts. The prosecuting garda agreed, although he noted that the defendant was “caught red-handed”. And giving evidence, Mr Conka also agreed that he had been caught red-handed.
He disagreed that he had refused to give his name and address, saying he gave it after 20 minutes. He clarified that he had worked in the past in places like Kildare Chilling and in Lilly O’Briens.
He admitted to tearing up the charge sheet when it was given to him, but said that a tablet he had been given had made him crazy. “They gave me no food, no water, only interview, interview,” he told the court, referring to his time in Garda custody.
Sgt Brian Jacob put it to the defendant that he could, if he wished, simply return to the Czech Republic. Mr Conka agreed.
“The State’s objections are sustainable in law,” Judge Zaidan said and agreed that there was a chance he might not turn up for his trial.
The matter was adjourned for seven days.