Teens accused of burglary are released on bail

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A car stolen during a ‘creeper’ style burglary in Eglinton was allegedly involved in a ‘ram raiding incident’ in Donegal, a court has heard.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the claim as 19-year-old Conor Mercer and 18-year-old Emmett Curran appeared in the dock.

Mercer, of Glendale Drive, and Curran, whose address was given on court papers as no fixed abode, are charged with burglary with intent to steal and aggravated vehicle taking.

The offences relate to an alleged incident on May 30.

The court heard claims that a house in Eglinton was broken into and a ‘distinctive’ 4x4 vehicle was stolen.

It is alleged that this stolen car was seen on CCTV at a filling station in Bridgend. Mercer is allegedly seen driving the vehicle, getting out and going to a payment hatch.

His co-accused Curran is allegedly in the passenger seat of the stolen vehicle and it was travelling ‘in tandem’ with another vehicle stolen in a second burglary.

The two vehicles allegedly returned to the same garage 40 minutes later. It is alleged that Curran is seen getting out of the vehicle this time and going to the payment hatch.

The court also heard claims that he went to speak to the people in the other stolen vehicle before both vehicles drove off.

An investigating officer said that the stolen 4X4 was involved in a ‘ram raiding incident’ two hours later in Donegal and substantial damage was caused to it.

She told the court a Gardai investigation is ongoing in relation to this.

During police interview, both defendants denied being involved in the burglary and denied it was them on CCTV.

The officer told the court police did not object to Curran being released on bail as he has no criminal record.

However, police objected to Mercer being granted bail.

The officer told the court the 19-year-old is managed by the Reducing Offenders Unit and has previous convictions for interfering with vehicles and going equipped for theft.

She added that Mercer had only been released from prison a month before the alleged incident and police fear he would commit further offences.

Defence solicitor Keith Kyle urged the court to release his client on bail with the most stringent conditions.

Deputy District Judge Terence Dunlop agreed to release the defendants on bail.

Curran was released to reside with his sister in Mount Street and Mercer was released to reside at Glendale Drive.

They were released on their own bail of £250, with sureties of £500 and ordered to abide by a curfew and be electronically tagged. They are also banned from consuming alcohol and non-prescribed drugs.

Curran and Mercer will appear in court again on August 14.