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Bail refused to Armagh man accused of stealing £700 from elderly grandparents

Defendant facing catalogue of charges due back in court in New Year

Armagh Magistrates' Court

An Armagh man accused of stealing £700 from his elderly grandparents has been refused bail.

Court heard the 21-year-old was arrested after breaching his bail by failing to surrender himself into custody.

Ryan Cassidy, of Killyfaddy Road, appeared at Armagh Magistrates’ on Tuesday charged with theft, fraud by false representation, breaching bail, two counts of driving whilst disqualified, theft of a vehicle and failing to stop, report or remain at the scene of a road accident.

Court heard that the theft referred to £700 which Cassidy was alleged to have taken from his grandparents in October.

He was accused of being in a road accident on December 9 before making off on foot.

On the same date he is alleged to have stolen a Mitsubishi Shogun valued at £4,500.

On November 20 the defendant failed to surrender himself to Lurgan Custody as part of his bail.

Prosecution stated that bail was being opposed due to the risk of further offences, the potential for intimidation of witnesses and potential for failure to surrender himself.

Court heard that Cassidy claimed he had been given the money by his grandmother.

The defendant appeared before court with 35 previous convictions, including breach of suspended sentences and community orders.

Prosecution further stated that Cassidy had been connected to the alleged car theft after he was identified by an officer who viewed CCTV footage.

Defence barrister Jarlath Fields said Cassidy maintained that the money had been transferred to his account by his grandmother as she had done in the past.

In relation to the road accident Mr Fields said there had been no eyewitness and the defendant, along with two others had been arrested nearby.

Referring to the alleged car theft he said: “There is CCTV evidence which the defence have not yet seen.”

Mr Fields added: “This is a 21-year-old man with 35 previous convictions. He has had a very difficult family history.

“He is adamant that during a brief stay at his grandparents house for one month during the summer that his grandmother lent him small amounts of money over time.”

Continuing, Mr Fields said: “There is no evidence that Mr Cassidy had possession of account numbers or pins or books; his grandfather had made the complaint that he could not account for the transfer of money.”

Mr Fields said that given that there were now two co-accused in one matter along with outstanding forensic reports this matter was likely to “drag out for months”.

He said: “This man faces many, many more months in prison for offences he has not been connected to.”

District Judge Paul Copeland stated: “I do not consider this man a likely candidate for bail. He has a significant history of offending.

“This is an appalling record for a man of his age coupled with bail breaches, breaches of suspended sentences and court orders.”

Bail was refused and Cassidy was remanded in custody until his next appearance on January 15 for an update on the cases.

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