New fa­ther charged over armed raid and as­sault in Lidl shop

Irish Independent - - News - Conor Fee­han

A 26-YEAR-OLD Dublin man has been charged with rob­bery and as­sault af­ter an armed raid at a Lidl su­per­mar­ket.

Stu­art Whe­lan, with an ad­dress at Fair­lawn Road in Fin­glas, was re­manded in cus­tody af­ter ap­pear­ing at Dublin District Court yes­ter­day.

He was brought be­fore Judge Conal Gib­bons on two charges aris­ing from the rob­bery of the Lidl at Grange Road in Bal­doyle at 4.30pm on Satur­day.

Garda Mark O’Brien gave ev­i­dence of charg­ing Mr Whe­lan with rob­bery un­der Sec­tion 14 of the Theft and Fraud Act, and of as­sault un­der Sec­tion 2 of the Non-Fa­tal Of­fences Against the Per­son Act.

The court heard that when charged with the rob­bery, Mr Whe­lan replied: “I didn’t rob any­body”, and when charged with the as­sault, he replied: “I didn’t as­sault any­body.”

Karl Mon­a­han, rep­re­sent­ing Mr Whe­lan, ap­plied for bail but this was ob­jected to by Gda O’Brien, who told the court the ob­jec­tion was based partly on the se­ri­ous­ness of the of­fence, which could carry a 14-year prison term.

He told Judge Gib­bons it would be al­leged that two men en­tered the Lidl su­per­mar­ket bran­dish­ing a firearm which was pointed at staff and shop­pers, and that one staff mem­ber was struck with the butt of the gun.

He said a to­tal of €4,000 was stolen in the raid and the men left in a 2005, Louth-reg­is­tered car, and that dur­ing a Garda pur­suit it struck a num­ber of ve­hi­cles. The car was aban­doned in the Darn­dale area and Mr Whe­lan was ar­rested nearby with a bag con­tain­ing a dam­aged cash reg­is­ter with cash.

Gda O’Brien said fur­ther charges were likely in the case.

Mr Mon­a­han said Mr Whe­lan was pre­pared to abide by a num­ber of con­di­tions if granted bail.

He said Mr Whe­lan and his part­ner had had a baby five months ago and they were pre­par­ing for its chris­ten­ing next month.

He also ar­gued that it could be 2022 be­fore the case went to trial and his client had a right to lib­erty while await­ing that trial.

Judge Gib­bons said he would re­mand Mr Whe­lan in cus­tody with con­sent to bail if the ac­cused could present €500 in cash and an in­de­pen­dent surety of €5,000 in cash.

Mr Whe­lan was re­manded in cus­tody to Clover­hill Prison to ap­pear in court again on Au­gust 7 via video link.

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