68-year-old woman robbed at knifepoint

A Laois man of no fixed abode was last week denied bail at the Portlaoise District Court, after the arresting garda told Judge Catherine Staines he strongly believed the man would offend again if released.

A Laois man of no fixed abode was last week denied bail at the Portlaoise District Court, after the arresting garda told Judge Catherine Staines he strongly believed the man would offend again if released.

Before the court was Brendan Tuohy, charged with the attempted robbery of a shop in Portlaoise on November 6 this year.

Garda Michael O’Donovan told the court that Tuohy allegedly put a 68-year-old woman in fear by going into the shop with a knife and demanding money.

The woman pushed a panic button and the shop owner came to her assistance, and the shop owner was also put in fear by Tuohy, Garda O’Donovan said. There was CCTV footage at the scene and Garda O’Donovan said Tuohy made admissions to the gardaí when arrested.

The garda revealed that Tuohy had been out on bail for similar offences at the time, burglary and the possession of an offensive weapon, namely a hammer. These offences were dated October 16.

“I believe if he is given bail there is a strong possibility he will offend again,” said Garda O’Donovan, going on to claim that Tuohy has a heroin addiction and is on four bags of the drug a day. The garda also said that the defendant had no fixed address.

“I strongly believe he will offend again,” said Garda O’Donovan.

Defence for Tuohy, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick asked the garda to describe the knife allegedly used. Garda O’Donovan replied it was a butter knife.

Through the course of further inquiry from Ms Fitzpatrick, Garda O’Donovan revealed the incident had lasted about 40 seconds, and there was CCTV footage from outside the shop but not inside.

Ms Fitzpatrick told the court that Tuohy was prepared to undertake a curfew and sign on daily if released. She said that Tuohy can stay with his parents in Lake Drive, Kilminchy, as his father is willing to let him stay.

“I have concerns over that address, he’s not living there,” said Garda O’Donovan. “As far as I’m aware his parents have no control over him.”

Ms Fitzpatrick reiterated that her client had an address available to him, adding: “It’s up to him to show the court that he lives there.”

Defence also said that a Ms Eileen Tuohy was prepared to act as independent surety of €1,000.

However, Judge Catherine Staines refused bail and remanded Tuohy in custody to November 20. She initially remanded him to Cloverhill District Court, but corrected this to Portlaoise District Court.

An irate Tuohy said: “You don’t even know where you’re sending people, you f**king eejit.”

Judge Staines warned him he would be held in contempt of court. Tuohy again used an expletive towards the judge and was subsequently escorted from the courtroom, during which there was a minor altercation involving individuals present with Tuohy.