| 9.1°C Dublin

Burglary suspect was 'caught red-handed', garda tells court

Close

Stephen Hall is accused of burglary at a city centre shop

Stephen Hall is accused of burglary at a city centre shop

Stephen Hall is accused of burglary at a city centre shop

A suspected burglar was caught red-handed at a city centre tourist shop shut during the coronavirus pandemic, it has been alleged.

Stephen Hall (43) was found carrying gifts to the shop door when gardai arrived at the scene, a court was told.

Judge Bryan Smyth granted him bail and adjourned the case.

Mr Hall is charged with entering the Paddywagon gift shop on O'Connell Street with intent to commit a theft.

The offence is alleged to have happened last March 25.

The prosecuting garda told Dublin District Court the accused replied to the charge: "It wasn't me."

Objecting to bail, the garda said it was alleged the accused was "caught in the act" and there was a witness and CCTV footage.

Innocent

Applying for bail, Mr Hall's lawyer said the accused was presumed innocent and there was no witness in court.

The garda said he had been at the scene himself and saw property broken and the accused inside "with property belonging to the shop, making his way to the door".

Mr Hall would be able to live at a south city centre hostel if granted bail, his solicitor said.

Judge Smyth agreed to grant bail "in the current circumstances", but added: "If circumstances were more normal I might take a different view."

Bail was set in Mr Hall's own bond of €200, with no cash lodgement required.

He must observe a curfew between 9pm and 7am, give gardai a phone number and stay out of Dublin 1 and 3.

The case was adjourned to a date in June.

"Thank you, judge," the accused said, to which the judge replied: "It's in the current climate. I won't say any more to you."