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ATM suspect 'nearly blew himself up'

Crowbar, saw and blowtorch attached to gas found in car

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Stubbins was charged with causing criminal damage to an ATM at a Maxol garage at Carrigaline in Co. Cork

Stubbins was charged with causing criminal damage to an ATM at a Maxol garage at Carrigaline in Co. Cork

Stubbins was charged with causing criminal damage to an ATM at a Maxol garage at Carrigaline in Co. Cork

THESE are the first pictures of the young man gardai said "could have killed himself" when it is alleged he tried to blow up an ATM at a filling station in Cork.

Evan Stubbins (23) appeared before a special sitting of Cork District Court, where he was charged with causing criminal damage to an AIB cash dispenser and with attempting to steal its contents at a Maxol garage in Carrigaline, Co. Cork, on August 2.

The court heard on Monday last that the State alleges that Stubbins, from Church Road, Croom, Co. Limerick, was dressed all in black and was trying to jemmy open the ATM covering with a screwdriver when he was interrupted by gardai out on patrol.

Stubbins then tried to get into a car fitted with false number plates to flee but was caught after a struggle.

Garda Jeremy O'Leary said they found a number of other items in the car, including several false number plates, a consaw, a large crowbar and a blowtorch attached to two cylinders of gas and air which Mr Stubbins had planned to use to blow out the ATM from the wall.

"The garage was closed but the tanks there contain 30,000 litres of petrol and diesel and there is a house nearby and according to experts, if he had succeeded in doing what he planned, which would have involved mixing the gas and the air, he would have caused a huge explosion.

"It would have had catastrophic consequences for both property and life, including his own - he could potentially have killed himself if he had followed through on what he was planning to do," said Garda O'Leary, adding that this all added to his concerns about Stubbins getting bail.

Charge

Giving evidence of arrest, charge and caution, Gda O'Leary told Judge Olann Kelleher that Stubbins made no reply to either charge when they were put to him after caution.

Gda O'Leary said gardai were objecting to bail for Stubbins.

He said the evidence supporting the charges against Stubbins was strong and he alleged he and another officer caught him when they were out on patrol and noticed suspicious activity at the ATM on the main Cork to Carrigaline Road at 2.05am last Sunday.

Cross-examined by Stubbins's solicitor, Donal Daly, Gda O'Leary said that he was particularly concerned that The court heard how he appeared to have "a fascination with explosions" and he believed he was a risk to both himself and to the community.

Stubbins took the stand and pledged that he would abide by whatever conditions gardai required in order for him to obtain bail, including residing at his home address with his parents and observing a curfew.

He promised not to commit any offences if granted bail.

"I understand - if I tried to replicate something like last night, the gardaĆ­ would be at my door within a hour because it's a serious offence, very serious, it's not something that happens too often - no way, 100 per cent, am I going to commit another crime if I get bail," he told the court.

Cross-examined by Inspector Noel Madden, Stubbins said he got quite "scared" as a result of his actions and he assured the court he would not commit any further offences if granted bail.

"I know it may be hard for you to believe this but 100 per cent, I won't commit any further offences."

However, Judge Kelleher remanded him in custody to appear in court again tomorrow by video link and he also granted him free legal aid after hearing he was not working.