‘Serious risk’ refused bail

Bishop Street Courthouse
Bishop Street Courthouse

A Derry judge has refused bail to a Bogside man he believes to be a “dangerous individual”.

District Judge Barney McElholm refused to release 25-year-old Sean Rodgers on bail because he is “a serious risk of harm to the public”.

Rodgers, of Little Diamond, is charged with the attempted robbery of two foreigners on April 23.

He is further charged with possession of a knife.

An investigating officer told Derry Magistrates Court this week he believed he could connect the 25-year-old to the charges.

The court heard allegations that Rodgers approached the men as they walked towards the Rock Road.

He allegedly produced a six inch knife and told them “give me your wallet or I will stab you”.

The injured parties refused to hand over their wallets and allegedly ran off from Rodgers, who then walked off to a nearby garage.

The officer said the men were “traumatised” by the incident and “genuinely feared for their lives”.

It is alleged that police saw Rodgers a short time later wearing clothes that matched the description given of the attempted robber.

The court heard claims that police carried out a search of Rodgers however did not find a knife. However, it was found later that evening in a bin at the garage.

Officers also seized CCTV from the garage and the officer claimed that the 25-year-old could be idenitified on it clearly.

During police interview, Rodgers said he had nothing to do with any robbery and then refused to answer any further questions.

Opposing bail the investigating officer revealed the defendant was only released from prison days before the alleged attempted robbery.

He added that Rodgers has 27 previous convictions, including one for robbery and a number for serious assault.

The officer said the 25-year-old had an “extensive history” of carrying offensive weapons, with four previous convictions for that offence. He told the court police believe Rodgers is a “serious risk to members of the public”.

The officer added that Rodgers has breached bail by consuming alcohol on the night of the alleged incident and police believe he would not abide by any conditions imposed by the court.

Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said there is a “very, very strong case” against Rodgers.

He said he considers the 25-year-old to be a “dangerous individual” and he could think of no conditions that would stop him from committing any further offences.

Rodgers was remanded in custody and will appear in court again via videolink on May 23.