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Bail refused for Chinese takeaway robbery accused whom court told has 170 previous convictions

The deputy district judge said prosecution object to bail 'given his record, which is quite a series of convictions'

A man with 170 previous convictions, who is accused of the robbery of a Co Armagh Chinese takeaway, has been refused bail.

Court heard that items including a concealed gun holster, a crowbar, two mobile phones, a black face mask and a hat, believed to have been used in the offence, were allegedly found in the defendants’ car.

James Carlisle, 38, of Finulagh Road in Dungannon, and Christopher Barry Carlisle, 35, of Spelga Place in Kilkeel, both appeared charged with robbery at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Christopher Carlisle also faced a separate charge of carrying a firearm or imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.

Defence counsel, representing James Carlisle, made it known that a bail application was to be made on his behalf. The other defendant had previously been denied bail.

On that occasion, court heard that the alleged offences related to a burglary at Bamboo takeaway on November 23.

At 12.05am, two masked men entered the premises armed with a crowbar and a handgun or imitation firearm.

They threatened staff and made off with around £500 in cash.

A witness followed the two males across grass to the rear of the property to a staff apartment block of the Craigavon Area Hospital.

This witness was told by the two men to leave the area as they were joined by a third male.

The constable said that CCTV showed a white car enter the apartment area at around 11.52pm.

It was also seen leaving at speed at 12.09am, the car headed in the direction of Craigavon and the passenger side brake light was noted as defective.

Upon further investigation of the CCTV, police described a dry run which involved the vehicle in the same area around 9pm.

The constable said that in the early hours of Monday morning, a vehicle matching the description was stopped in Portadown.

This car was allegedly driven by James Carlisle with Christopher Carlisle being a front seat passenger.

During a search of the seized vehicle, the court was informed that police found a concealed gun holster, a crowbar, two mobile phones, a black face mask, a hat and a receipt from Homebase.

Inquiries were made at the Homebase store, and CCTV allegedly showed Christopher Carlisle purchase various items including a crowbar.

The court was also told that the phones were found to belong to the two defendants and records showed they had been in contact up until 2.12pm on the date of the offence, which led police to believe they were together following this.

During interview, Christopher Carlisle had said he had woken up at 8.30am on November 23 but refused to say in what town he had been.

He told police he had been drinking Buckfast and smoking weed.

The defendant said he may have been in Portadown that day and informed officers that he had received death threats.

He also commented that he knew Bamboo as it was his favourite Chinese takeaway and he would often order from it.

A constable stated that James Carlisle had been connected to the offence because it was his car which was allegedly nvolved and he was also believed to have been with the co-defendant earlier that same day.

He outlined that James Carlisle has 170 previous convictions, including 21 for acts of dishonesty, two for robbery and five for possession of an offensive weapon.

The objects were outlined as; risk of interference with witnesses, risk to the safety of the public as the firearm is still outstanding and no suitable address being put forward.

Defence counsel stated: “There are threats against this man. The address put forward is outside the Portadown area and has been accepted on another matter.

“The Housing Association have raised objections as this is his brother’s house and they are not happy with him residing there.”

He added: “His partner is in court and is prepared to offer a surety.”

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer said: “Bail is refused, I don’t know if this is the strongest case connecting your client to the offence but there is a prima facie case and that is all I have to adjudicate on at the moment.

“The prosecution object to bail given his record, which is quite a series of convictions, and he has not even got over the first hurdle of a suitable address.”

Both cases were adjourned until January 10 for an update.

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