Alleged robbery gang member given bail

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A Coleraine man alleged to have been part of a gang which carried out an armed robbery in Coleraine last summer in which £10,000 was stolen when a gun was placed against the back of a security guard’s leg has been released on bail.

26-year-old Jason Kennedy, of Drumtarsey Road, was freed after appearing via video link from jail at Coleraine Magistrates Court last Monday.

Police had objected to bail being granted saying there were accomplices and there was a risk of Kennedy interfering with the investigation as the cash had not yet been recovered.

The police woman said two raiders ran from the scene of the robbery at B&M in Coleraine’s Riverside Retail Park and a short time later police were told a red Honda Civic car was seen stationary in the middle of a road facing Castleroe and males were seen getting into the vehicle.

She said the vehicle had been bought by Kennedy last July and when he was arrested he confirmed he was the owner of the car and was the only driver since buying it.

The officer confirmed to defence solicitor John Murphy the defendant was arrested around two hours after the robbery.

The solicitor said nothing was found to link Kennedy to the raid.

The officer said forensics are still outstanding on items of clothes and they are not due until the end of February.

The police woman said there was very strong evidence that the vehicle owned by Kennedy was in the area at the time and a person was seen getting into it carrying what looked like an item stolen in the robbery.

Mr Murphy said while Kennedy accepted the vehicle was his he certainly made no admissions regarding the robbery.

The solicitor said a bail address is available with the accused’s step-brother in Antrim town.

Deputy District Judge John Connolly said he was “just about minded” to grant bail and ordered Kennedy to reside at the address supplied to the court.

Kennedy is banned from entering Coleraine except for court; he will be fitted with an electronic tag; has a 10pm-6am curfew and has to report to police three times a week. He was released on his own bail of £500.