Armed robber who targeted Carryduff off-licence made getaway on electric scooter, court told Leave a comment

An armed robber who targeted an off-licence on the outskirts of Belfast made his getaway on an electric scooter, the High Court heard today.

rosecutors claimed the same man used the machine during a bid to snatch a woman’s handbag in the city less than 24 hours later.

Christopher Curran, of Baronscourt Road in Carryduff, denies charges of robbery, carrying a firearm with criminal intent, and attempted robbery.

The 31-year-old was granted bail after a judge was told he has provided an alibi.

Crown lawyer Mark Farrell said a man in dark clothing and brandishing a handgun entered the off-licence at Queensway in Carryduff on October 2 and demanded alcohol, cigarettes and money from the till.

He took a quantity of cash and stock before escaping on an electric scooter.

At around lunchtime the following day on the Ormeau Road a woman fended off a man who tried to steal her handbag.

Mr Farrell said the would-be robber made off using the same mode of transport.

An imitation gun and clothes which allegedly matched those used in the raids were subsequently seized from an address linked to Curran, the court heard.

Mr Farrell added: “During the searches an electric scooter was located which police say is the same scooter used in both the robbery and attempted robbery.”

In interviews Curran denied any recent use of the machine, claiming he was at home in bed and with his partner at the relevant times.

Opposing his bid to be released from custody, the prosecution alleged he carried out the offences to pay off debts.

But defence counsel Sean O’Hare contended there is a lack of direct evidence against his client in a case involving “secret covert evidence”.

The barrister also cited figures from PSNI and Ambulance Service statements to dispute suggestions that electric scooters are still relatively uncommon.

“They are perhaps not as rare as the prosecution would have the court think,” Mr O’Hare argued.

Curran was granted bail after the judge, Mr Justice McFarland, questioned the evidence in a case he described as circumstantial.

He ordered the accused to abide by a curfew and live at an address outside Carryduff.

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