Men deny robbery as car theft trial gets underway

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

THE trial is due to begin later today of two young Limerick men accused of robbing another man and taking two vehicles from his home.

THE trial is due to begin later today of two young Limerick men accused of robbing another man and taking two vehicles from his home.

Both Greg Crawford and Jonathan Fitzgerald have entered not guilty pleas before Judge Carroll Moran at Limerick Circuit Court in respect of a number of offences alleged to have occurred on the southside of the city over four years ago.

Both are charged with robbing Jason Murphy at Norwood Park on March 3, 2008, taking from him his wallet, bank cards, driving licence, phone, €150 in cash and a set of house and car keys.

They are further charged with the unlawful taking of two vehicles - a Renault Megane and a van - from Mr Murphy’s home at Glenbrook, Old Singland Road, on the same date.

And both accused men face an additional count of handling stolen property in Garryowen three days after the alleged robbery of Mr Murphy.

Both Mr Crawford, 24, of St Munchin’s Street, St Mary’s Park, and 22-year-old Mr Fitzgerald, of South Claughaun Road, Garryowen, deny the charges.

John O’Sullivan BL said it would be the prosecution’s case that Jason Murphy was “set upon” by the two men in the early hours of March 3, 2008.

“It is alleged that the two accused robbed him of certain items including car keys,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

It would be further alleged that the pair were then involved in stealing the two vehicles from Mr Murphy’s address later that morning, Mr O’Sullivan added.

The handling charge referred to property allegedly stolen from Mr Murphy, including a power drill and a rope, and allegedly recovered by gardai at Mr Fitzgerald’s address in Garryowen on March 6.

The court heard that up to a dozen Garda witnesses would be called during the course of a trial which is expected to last at least one week before a jury of nine men and three women.

Brian McInerney BL is to represent Mr Crawford in the case with Mr Fitzgerald represented by Mark Nicholas BL.