Four appear before court after arrest of men in boot of a taxi
TWO "life-long" Dublin friends, arrested as part of a garda sting in which two men were discovered in the boot of a taxi wearing balaclavas, have been ordered not to contact each other by a judge.
The two men were among four who yesterday appeared before the district court charged under section 15 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.
The four men, Gary Ledden (32) of Oriel Street, Dublin 1, Derek Duffy (47) of no fixed address, Gary Murphy (34) from Church Road, East Wall and Gerard Black (33) of Killarney Court in Dublin 1 were arrested on Monday this week by officers attached to the newly-amalgamated Organised Crime Unit and Garda National Drug Unit.
The men were arrested at Harold Road in Stoneybatter when gardai swooped on a taxi and a Ford Mondeo.
Appearing before Dublin District Court, Judge Patrick Clyne heard that all four men were formally cautioned in either Mountjoy Garda Station or Store Street Garda Station.
Mr Ledden had requested that he be allowed to remain in contact with his "life-long friend Mr Murphy".
However this was refused by the judge.
"They haven't entered into a civil partnership," he stated, before adding that because they were "only life-long friends" they must obey the conditions of their bail.
The court heard that when charges were read out to Mr Ledden, who wore a grey and navy t-shirt and dark trousers, he replied: "They're not mine."
None of the other men made any comment.
Mr Murphy wore a puffy red jacket and grey tracksuit bottoms. Gerard Black wore a navy jumper and black trousers. Mr Duffy wore jeans and a black jumper and glasses.
The four men were yesterday released on bail with a number of conditions to appear in court again on May 11.
Each of the men must sign on at garda stations three times a week, stay away from their co-accused and avoid the Dublin 7 area.
Legal representatives for Mr Duffy requested that he be allowed into the Dublin 7 area for "professional reasons" as he is a taxi driver.
Judge Clyne responded: "That makes sense" and granted the request.
All four men must also obey a curfew between the hours of 12 midnight and 7am.
As part of the swoop, gardai seized a large bladed knife, wigs and a ski mask from the taxi and a Ford Mondeo which were travelling in convoy.
Two men, who were wearing balaclavas, were discovered in the boot of the taxi.
Neither the taxi nor the Mondeo had been stolen.