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Knifeman yelled 'coronavirus' during store raid, court told

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Kevin Brosnan appeared in court charged with robbery

Kevin Brosnan appeared in court charged with robbery

Kevin Brosnan appeared in court charged with robbery

A knife-wielding robber put shop staff in fear by shouting "coronavirus" and chasing a security man during a raid at a Dublin store, a court has heard.

Gardai said the raider had his face covered when he went into the shop but this fell down as the threat was shouted.

Kevin Brosnan (39), who was arrested with more than €600 in his pocket, appeared at Dublin District Court charged with robbery.

Judge Patricia McNamara refused bail and remanded him in custody, for the directions of the DPP.

Mr Brosnan, of Ardmore Park, Tallaght, is charged with robbery at Centra, Old Bawn Shopping Centre, Tallaght, on April 2.

Objecting to bail, the garda said he was on patrol when it was reported there was a robbery at a store.

On the way there, a radio update described the robber and said he had changed clothes.

Some time after, the garda spotted a man matching the description - the accused.

Lotto

As they spoke to Mr Brosnan, the garda asked him to take his hands out of his pockets. When he did he had a large sum of cash in his left pocket, totalling €630. He also had lotto receipts that could only have come from that shop, the garda said.

The garda believed these had been taken in the robbery and Mr Brosnan was arrested at 8.42pm. He made no reply to the charge after caution.

The garda said it was alleged the accused entered the shop at 8.30pm, holding a knife and with a scarf or clothing covering his face.

This dropped and it was alleged he shouted "coronavirus" at the guard and threatened him by chasing after him.

The garda said the accused's face was visible on CCTV as it was completely uncovered when he shouted "coronavirus." This was not audible on CCTV but staff had made statements alleging it.

The garda said although the accused had different clothing when arrested, he still wore a distinctive black hat with a red design and the same footwear.

Defence solicitor Michael Hennessy said the robber on CCTV was wearing a hat and the bottom half of his face was covered and while at some point the covering came down, the person was not clearly identifiable. Mr Hennessy said he had seen the footage and added: "It's not him."

Mr Brosnan would abide by conditions, including signing on at a garda station if granted bail, Mr Hennessy said.

He would also observe a curfew and be contactable on mobile phone.

Judge McNamara said shouting about having coronavirus was a threat. It was a contagious disease and could be fatal.

She said while the accused was presumed innocent, she was satisfied the garda had made a case for refusing bail.

The accused was remanded in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court later this week.