Northern Ireland

ATM thefts: Second man in court over attempted cash machine theft

Police at the scene of an attempted ATM theft in Ballynahinch Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The attempted theft happened at Carlisles' on the Belfast Road in Ballynahinch

A man has appeared in court charged in connection with the attempted theft of a cash machine from a petrol station in Ballynahinch, County Down.

The incident happened on the Belfast Road on Monday morning and resulted in the forecourt roof collapsing.

Darren Porter, 25, from the Listooder Road, appeared at Downpatrick Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

He is the second man the be charged this week.

On Wednesday, Adrian Boyd, 26, of no fixed abode, appeared at Newtownards Magistrates' Court on a number of charges, including burglary and criminal damage.

He was remanded in custody to appear in court again in December.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption A digger is believed to have been used to ram the petrol station

The court heard the stolen digger was found abandoned close to the quarry where it had been stolen from while the Passat was found burnt out around 200 yards away from Porter's home.

According to the detective, Porter was seen running from the burnt out car and when police searched his home, they recovered clothing which matched clothing seen on CCTV footage which had been seized.

Under cross examination from Porter's defence solicitor, the officer agreed he had "fully co-operated" with police but the lawyer told the court his client "denied all of the offences."

He submitted that with "no forensic evidence to link" Porter to the attempted theft "at this stage," he could be freed on bail with proposed address in Templepatrick.

Refusing bail however, District Judge Amanda Brady said the police investigation is "fresh and ongoing" and she shared police concerns about the risk Porter committing further offences or interfering with witnesses.

Porter will appear again via video link in December.