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alleged attack Group 'befriended' man before luring him into laneway and robbing him at knifepoint, court told


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A MAN was "befriended" by a group of people who lured him into a city centre laneway and robbed him at knifepoint, it is alleged.

Karl Thomas (33) is accused of being among the group of robbers who set upon the man in Temple Bar.

He maintained that although he was at the scene, he was innocent of any involvement and had been "in the wrong place at the wrong time". Judge Bryan Smyth refused to grant him bail and remanded him in custody.

Mr Thomas, with an address at Fr Peter McVerry's Trust on St Stephen's Green, is charged with robbery.

The prosecuting garda told Dublin District Court the accused made no reply when charged after caution. The DPP directed trial on indictment, he said.

Objecting to bail, he cited the seriousness of the allegations and his belief that the accused would not appear in court if granted bail.

The incident allegedly happened at Crampton Court, Temple Bar, on July 18, 2020.

According to the prosecution, the alleged victim had been befriended by a group of people, including the defendant, before they robbed him in a small laneway.

He was allegedly threatened at knifepoint, physically assaulted and robbed of his bank cards and mobile phone.

The alleged robbers were stopped on South Great George's Street, where one of them was attempting to use an ATM. The cards and phone were recovered. A knife was also found by gardaĆ­.

CCTV footage allegedly showed all parties entering and leaving Crampton Court.

Mr Thomas was interviewed and maintained his innocence, his solicitor John Quinn said.

The garda said Mr Thomas had said he was present but not involved in the offence.

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Mr Quinn said the accused did "place himself at the scene" but was "adamant" that he was innocent and not involved in the act.

"I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, that's all it was," the accused said.

The incident went back 18 months and a trial could be two years away, Mr Quinn said.

The judge asked if there was any reason for the delay in the case. The garda said he had been waiting for directions.

The judge remanded the accused in custody to appear in Cloverhill District Court next week, for the service of a book of evidence.

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