Chinese man accused of stealing from Limerick shops

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

GARDAI have been given until next week to confirm the identity of a Chinese national who doesn’t have any legal status in this country.

GARDAI have been given until next week to confirm the identity of a Chinese national who doesn’t have any legal status in this country.

Hui Zhan, aged 25, who has an address at Mount Kenneth Place appeared before Limerick Court after he was charged with several theft offences.

He is accused of stealing groceries worth €57.61 from Tesco at the Crescent Shopping Centre on Monday afternoon.

He is also charged with stealing children’s clothing worth €138.95 from the Mothercare store as well as pots from Shaws worth €50 on the same date.

At Limerick Court, Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told the defendant made no reply to the charges when he was formally charged at 5.30pm on Monday.

Insp Luke Conlon said there was an objection to bail as Zhan “does not have legal status here”.

The court was told there was “no record whatsoever” of the defendant entering this country when he claims to have arrived and that gardai are not completely satisfied as to his identity.

The court was told they have not established when or how Zhang arrived in Ireland and that there is a possibility he arrived illegally via Northern Ireland.

Solicitor Sarah Ryan said her client’s girlfriend - also a Chinese national - is legally in the country as she has a student visa.

She added that she is heavily pregnant with the couple’s first child.

Ms Ryan said any concerns the gardai have could be remedied through the imposition of bail conditions such as requiring Zhang to sign on.

However, Judge O’Kelly said he was not making any decision and he adjourned the bail application for a week to allow gardai to conduct further enquiries about the defendant’s identity.

In doing so he said it appeared Zhang was not cooperating fully and he said he is “not being very open with the state”.