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Burglary suspect 'deliberately' coughed on garda, court told

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Gardai arrested the man

Gardai arrested the man

Gardai arrested the man

An intruder in a hi-vis jacket claimed during a spate of burglaries that he was out "after housebreakers" and then told a resident "I'll bomb you", a court heard.

James Farrell (37) was apprehended on suspicion of being the intruder when he "deliberately" coughed on a garda and said he had Covid-19 in a ruse to avoid arrest, it was further alleged.

Judge Paula Murphy refused to grant him bail when he app-eared in court charged over seven burglary incidents that happened early on Wednesday.

Mr Farrell, whose address was given as a city centre hostel, is charged with nine offences - five burglaries, two attempted burglaries, one count of unauthorised taking of a vehicle and one of assaulting a garda.

Detective Garda Daniel Sweetman told Dublin District Court all of the alleged offences took place within the space of about an hour in Ballyfermot.

A man alleged to have been the accused was spotted trying to break into a house at Claddagh Road while wearing a hi-vis vest.

Rummaging

A 78-year-old woman went downstairs to find a man rummaging through property.

He shouted "Where's the f**king money?" Det Gda Sweetman added.

Another woman saw a stolen car parked with the engine running. Then a man walked down the road and said: "I'm after housebreakers."

When she challenged him, he threw a stolen wallet at her, saying: "You don't know who I am. I'll bomb you, I'll come back with an army."

The man got into the stolen car and reversed it at speed, but it crashed into a parked car, which was "totally destroyed", Det Gda Sweetman said.

When the accused was later seen close to Oranmore Road by gardai, he was in possession of a €50 note and change, a bank card and a pair of stolen runners.

While he was being searched, he allegedly "indicated he was Covid-19 positive" and coughed on a garda's chest and arms.

Defence solicitor Lorraine Stephens said the accused was not actually infected.

The judge remanded Mr Farrell in custody until April 30.