A LIMERICK man was refused bail after he appeared in court charged with assaulting and falsely imprisoning an elderly farmer in West Clare last year.
Detective Garda Donal Corkery of Kilrush garda station told Limerick District Court he arrested Dean O’Connor at an address on Clare Street in the city last Thursday morning and that he made no reply when he was charged a short time later.
The 23-year-old, who has no fixed abode, is accused of burglary, assault and falsely imprisoning the 64-year-old bachelor at his home near the village of Kilmilhil on August 10, last.
Opposing a bail application – made by solicitor John Herbert – Det Garda Corkery alleged the defendant was one of two men who broke into the farmer’s home at around 6pm on the date of the offence.
He said the farmer, who lives alone in a rural area, was “seriously assaulted” by the culprits and that he was tied up with cable-ties.
The culprits, he said, fled the house and escaped through a nearby woodland after the were disturbed by a neighbour who arrived at the scene.
He alleged that Mr O’Connor was identified on CCTV during the subsequent investigation and that he made admissions when he was arrested and questioned last year.
Sergeant Donal Cronin said the Director of Public Prosecutions has been consulted and that she has directed the matter proceed on indictment at the circuit court.
Mr Herbert said his client, who has “lived in various stages of homelessness in recent months” had co-operated with gardai and that he was willing to abide by any bail conditions imposed by the court.
“It is not his intention to not turn up” he added.
However, noting the garda concerns and the seriousness of the charges, Judge Marian O’Leary refused bail.
This Tuesday, Mr O’Connor was remanded in continuing custody, until May 19, next.