stolen property | 

Man accused of driving Mercedes that had been hijacked at gunpoint in Dublin

The court heard how a woman was getting into her Mercedes in the Ballyfermot area when her car was hijacked by a man armed with a black handgun

Paul HigginsSunday World

A Co Down man was remanded into custody accused of driving a Mercedes which had earlier been hijacked at gunpoint in Dublin.

Appearing at Newry Magistrates Court by videolink from police custody, 29-year-old Thomas McDonagh confirmed he understood the four charges against him.

McDonagh, from Linenhall Street in Banbridge, is accused of handling stolen property, namely a silver Mercedes car, driving while banned and without insurance on 6 October and a further charge of using a fraudulent registration mark on 12 October this year.

The court heard how a woman was getting into her Mercedes in the Ballyfermot area of Dublin when her car was hijacked by a man armed with a black handgun and that around three hours later, McDonagh and a female were captured on CCTV in the car at a filling station in Newry.

A Detective Constable told the court the female passenger, believed to be McDonagh’s partner, had tried to buy items with a credit card stolen in the hijacking incident.

Six days later the silver Mercedes was again captured on CCTV, this time being driven by McDonagh at a Centra garage on the A1 but the number plates had been changed from its southern registration to an English reg.

The car was seized the following day parked outside McDonagh’s home in Banbridge and according to the detective, both the CCTV footage and forensic evidence link him to the stolen car.

The court heard how McDonagh had been in prison since around that time but he was released yesterday and was immediately re-arrested for these offences.

Objecting to bail, the officer told the court police feared that McDonagh would fail to appear at court and would commit further offences, highlighting that he has precious convictions on both sides of the border and had had multiple bench warrants for previous non-attendances.

Defence solicitor Joseph Hackett submitted there are “arguable points” in the evidence against McDonagh, lamenting the fact that he could have been charged two months ago while still in custody.

Remanding McDonagh into custody and adjourning the case to 28 January, District Judge Eamon King said there was a risk of the father-of-five committing further offences and not turning up for court hearings.


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